The Dallas Mavericks just lost one of their most impressive playoff performers in Jalen Brunson yesterday as the point guard signed a 4-year contract worth a massive $110 million with the New York Knicks.
Brunson, who was easily the second best player in the Mavs for the playoffs, was a beast in the post-season averaging 21.6 points, 3.7 assists, and 4.6 rebounds per game. Proving to be a great second option, Brunson showed Dallas why he could be a viable second option for the team.
But before the free agency began, Brunson's camp certainly took some shots at the franchise and its star, Luka Doncic. Claiming that Brunson could reach a different level without Luka, many Mavs fans disliked the comment.
Analyst Chris Broussard, though, defended the now Knicks' guard and explained why a player like Brunson would feel suppressed playing with Doncic. (3:06 onwards):
"Luka's similar to LeBron offensively is that he's ball dominant, he's the system, everyone has to play off him and we've all talked about how a player that can create his own shot and create his own offense, can get frustrated playing with LeBron or with Luka because they create everything and they you kind of can just be relegated to being a spot up shooter at the three or at least you know a guy creating for you."
The Dallas Mavericks clearly are a Luka-run team with most of their offense focused around the Slovenian. Be it finding open looks for teammates or scoring the ball, the 22-year-old has found himself as the center of attention.
Given the presence a player like Doncic can have, the Slovenian is pretty reminiscent of a young LeBron James in a Cavaliers' jersey. The best way for the Mavs to succeed this season will be to add competent shooters and scorers around Luka who have great movement off the ball.
The Mavericks have already added some good squad players in Christian Wood, but it seems like they are still a piece away from truly becoming a contender in the Western Conference. Can Dallas finally become a contender this season?