The Dallas Mavericks made it clear the moment they were knocked out in the Western Conference Finals that bringing back Jalen Brunso was their top offseason priority. The 6’1 guard became the team’s second-leading scorer and had a magnificent playoff run where he earned a significant raise. Dallas failed to reach an extension with Brunson this season, and his postseason performance cemented him as a $20-plus million per season player.
Rumors suggest that Brunson plans to leave Dallas to join the New York Knicks. It appeared all but certain on Tuesday as reports for multiple sources leaked, but free agency does not open until June 30 at 5 p.m. CT.
Chris Haynes reported that Brunson will meet with the Mavericks, Knicks, and Heat on Thursday before making his final decision, and Marc Stein offered more details for Mavericks fans.
Rumors: Dallas Mavericks to meet with Jalen Brunson before he makes free agency decision
Stein notes that Mark Cuban, Nico Harrison, Michael Finely, and Jason Kidd will all be part of the meeting in New York City. Luka Doncic is in Slovenia and has a World Cup qualifying game, so he will not be with the Mavericks contingent in NYC. Stein noted the following about Dallas’s chances of bringing him back.
It appears Jalen Brunson wants to be the Knicks' lead ball-handler where his father is an assistant coach and his former agent and close family friend is the team president. The Dallas Mavericks can offer the most money and a fifth year, but the decision will ultimately come down to what Brunson wants. Does he want to be the number two behind Luka Doncic on an annual contender or the Knicks top playmaker as they fight for a spot in the postseason?
Expect the Mavs to make a strong offer during Thursday’s pitch meeting. Will it be enough to convince him to return to Dallas long-term? Stay tuned because the Jalen Brunson sweepstakes is not over yet.