The Dallas Mavericks are on the verge of eliminating the Utah Jazz and advancing to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since winning the title in 2011, and they can thank Jalen Brunson for putting them in this position. He led the team to two wins without superstar Luka Doncic, and the 6’1 guard proved that his fourth-year breakout translates to postseason basketball.
Brunson has been incredible in this series, and the Mavericks are going to have to pay him handsomely this summer if they want to keep the 25-year-old. The Knicks, Pacers, and Pistons have all been linked to JB, and his market only grew with his current playoff run.
If the Mavericks' former front office had their way, Brunson would not even be in Dallas, according to a recent feature by ESPN's Tim MacMahon that was actually backed up Bob Voulgaris. Let us take a closer look.
Rumors: Mavericks tried to trade Jalen Brunson for the rights to draft Tyrese Haliburton
MacMahon notes the Mavs offered Brunson along with the 18th and 31st overall picks in the 2020 NBA Draft to the teams in the lottery with the hopes of moving up to draft Tyrese Haliburton. Crazy to think now that Dallas could not find a taker. They ended up selecting Josh Green and Tyrell Terry with the picks.
Mavericks former front office executive, Bob Voulgaris, made it clear in his ESPN Daily interview after he departed from the organization that he and the Mavs were locked in on trading for Haliburton, who has blossomed into a star in his first two seasons in the league. Voulgaris even called trading for Haliburton “the focus of the draft” and he was sold that the 6’5 guard was the piece the Mavericks needed next to Luka.
Rick Carlisle’s new team, the Indiana Pacers, traded for Haliburton this season.
It is a fun what-if to think about for MFFLs. The Pistons, Knicks, Wizards, Suns, Spurs, and Kings likely all passed on the chance to acquire Jalen Brunson during the 2020 NBA Draft as Haliburton slipped to Sacramento at 12th overall.
The Mavericks were sold on Tyrese Haliburton and his potential as their second star next to Luka Doncic. The decision to keep their lottery picks does not look good for some of those teams after two seasons.
Jalen Brunson’s free agency is at the top of the watch list for Dallas Mavericks fans when the offseason begins. How will it play out? Stay tuned.