Jalen Brunson is one of the biggest names to switch teams this free agency as he chose to leave the Dallas Mavericks and sign a contract with the New York Knicks. The Knicks have paid Brunson very handsomely and the Mavericks weren't willing to commit the same resources to Brunson as New York have been willing to.
While there is a tampering controversy around this signing, nobody can question that Brunson wanted to leave Dallas for New York in an attempt to be closer to his family. His father is an assistant coach for the Knicks, Leon Rose is Brunson's godfather, and Rose's son is Brunson's agent.
Brunson was introduced as a Knick earlier today and spoke about why he joined New York and how he thought he would never leave Dallas.
“I’ve known them for a long time. It’s family,” he explained. “It’s a comfort level to this and something that I just couldn’t turn a blind eye to. I know that these guys have my best interests at heart, and I think Leon [Rose] probably saw me before my dad did, so it’s just one big family for me and I’m just super excited." (H/T SNY)
Brunson is going to have a more enhanced role in New York as their primary ball-handler unless Donovan Mitchell is traded to them sometime soon. Even then, being close to family and having a big contract is going to help Brunson find the positives as he hopes to make a playoff push with the squad.
The Mavericks have been left holding the bag but will hope that Luka Doncic and Spencer Dinwiddie can have the success Luka had been having with Brunson. While they are still looked at as contenders, it's going to be much harder for the Mavs to replicate the success of the 2021-22 season without Jalen.