Jalen Brunson was the most recruited free agent this season as the New York Knicks pulled out all the stops to ensure they can sign the Dallas Mavericks guard. The Knicks traded various players and picks to make sure they had the cap space to sign JB, with the contract details of his signing being reported by Shams Charania a day before free agency opened.
Many fans have joked about the obvious tampering people assume the Knicks to have done. Jalen's father, Rick Brunson is an assistant coach with the Knicks. His agent is the son of Leon Rose and Leon also happens to be Jalen's Godfather. There is a lot of familial connection in New York for Jalen who was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks as a second-round pick in 2018.
League executives widely believe that New York will be penalized for tampering with Brunson prior to the opening of the signing window.
From what I’ve gathered, the Mavericks are quite frustrated with the Knicks — and not just because reports of a finished deal came out before New York was even allowed to speak with Brunson (though I am not sure how tampering rules account for father-son relationships, and this situation involves two of those). Dallas wasn’t thrilled about Knicks executive William “World Wide Wes” Wesley showing up courtside to a Mavs-Jazz playoff game, either.
People I talk to around the league expect the Knicks to get dinged for tampering. (h/t NBC Sports)
It is impossible to prove tampering between father-son as those conversations can't really be monitored by the NBA. However, the contract details leaking ahead of time gives Dallas some actual juice to push the league office with while trying to prove that the franchise tampered with Brunson.
Tampering or no tampering, it seems Jalen wanted to leave Dallas and Luka Doncic for New York. He will always be a second-option behind Luka in Dallas, with the Slovenian guard needing the ball to do a lot of his damage offensively. Jalen had to play pout of rhythm to accommodate Luka and elected to leave for a team where he is the lead ball-handler.
What's done is done and the Knicks being fined second-round picks won't improve the Mavericks team this offseason that has failed to replace Brunson.