Over the past couple of days, the prevailing sentiment regarding Jalen Brunson’s unrestricted free agency has swung from the Dallas Mavericks retaining him, despite the New York Knicks’ pursuits, to the Knicks landing the 25-year-old point guard on a lucrative, long-term deal worth roughly $110 million across four years.
When free agency opens on Thursday, the New York Knicks are expected to present Jalen Brunson a four-year offer in the vicinity of $110 million, league sources tell @YahooSports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 29, 2022
Dallas losing Brunson would be a major blow to a team weeks removed from a Western Conference Finals appearance. Brunson is the Mavericks’ best shot creator behind Luka Doncic and, arguably, their second-best player overall.
As such, reports from Tim Cato of The Athletic and Marc Stein indicate that Dallas may look to negotiate a sign-and-trade with New York to potentially soften the blow of Brunson’s potential departure.
“The Mavericks’ players and executives have understood the increasing likelihood of Brunson’s departure as an unrestricted free agent in past weeks. (Last Thursday, Marc Stein had the offseason’s first substantial report on the possibility.),” Cato wrote. “Within the Mavericks’ organization, conversations have shifted from re-signing Brunson to replacing his production, as well as the possibility of a sign-and-trade deal involving Brunson that could at least prevent Dallas from losing him for nothing.”
Stein, meanwhile, has been among the most plugged-in reporters when it comes to Brunson’s summer plans. His report is in lockstep with Cato’s, in which he wrote “the Mavericks don’t expect to be able to sway Brunson” and a sign-and-trade “is more likely.”
Since Thursday’s NBA Draft, New York has offloaded a trio of veterans in Kemba Walker, Alec Burks, and Nerlens Noel, sending all of them to the Detroit Pistons. Walker was dealt last on the night of the NBA Draft in a deal separate from Tuesday’s involving Burks and Noel.
Brunson is an excellent point guard whose scoring prowess and dribble-drive game would bolster a lackluster New York offense. Last year, he averaged 16 points on 58 percent true shooting during the regular season. Amid Dallas’ surprise run to the Western Conference Finals, he notched 22 points on 55 percent true shooting, including four games with 25 or more points.