Jalen Brunson is planning to join the New York Knicks on a four-year, $104 million contract, his agents tell ESPN. Brunson spent the first four seasons of his career with the Dallas Mavericks, helped lead them to the Western Conference finals last season, but New York made him its top offseason priority. The Knicks has now succeeded in landing the 25-year-old point guard with the Mavericks never receiving an opportunity to counter New York's offer, according to The Athletic.
Brunson is the son of Rick Brunson, now a Knicks assistant coach. The elder Brunson's agent during his playing days was Leon Rose, current president of the Knicks. Sam Rose, Leon's son, is one of the agents representing Brunson at CAA. The connections here have been obvious for quite some time, and the Knicks telegraphed this move as far back as draft night.
New York needed to clear cap space to make this offer. It did so by dumping Kemba Walker, Nerlens Noel and Alec Burks on the Pistons without receiving any salary in return. That allowed the Knicks to outbid the Mavericks for Brunson despite Dallas holding his Bird Rights. In the process, the Knicks landed what will presumably be their opening night point guard, making Brunson the 13th player to earn that distinction since 2009.
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With this contract, clearly New York does not expect there to be a 14th for quite some time. The Knicks are hoping that the offensive wizardry Brunson displayed while Luka Doncic was injured in the first round of the postseason can translate to All-Star production as a primary ball-handler. If it can, they should have a nice chance of bouncing back from their lottery season and returning to the playoffs as they did in 2021.
The Mavericks, meanwhile, will have to pivot. They've lost their second-leading scorer and perhaps their second-best overall player. With Doncic in his prime, Dallas is fortunately in good shape when it comes to ball-handling, but losing a player of Brunson's caliber will always sting. Their loss is New York's gain. The Knicks finally have their point guard.