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NBA Insider Chris Haynes Says Jalen Brunson's Camp Believes It Is Better For Him To Not Play With Luka Doncic

Luka Doncic and Jalen Brunson

If you had told someone last summer that Jalen Brunson would be dominating a lot of the headlines during the next offseason, they would have scoffed at that prediction, but that just so happens to be the case right now. Brunson balled out in these playoffs for the Mavericks as he averaged 21.6 points per game as they made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals.

While that was a big positive for the Mavs, what wasn't was the fact that they had twice passed up on the opportunity to sign him to a 4-year $55.6 million deal previously and now he wants to get paid a whole lot more than that. While initially, it seemed like Brunson would be back with the Mavs despite the larger price tag, things have changed and he now looks set to head to the Knicks, who are preparing to offer him a 4-year $110 million contract. NBA Insider Chris Haynes also reported that Brunson's camp believes he can reach a higher level on the court if he doesn't play with Luka Doncic.

That is a bold statement to come out of Brunson's camp and it has some merit to it perhaps. Doncic missed the first 3 games of these playoffs and Brunson took the opportunity to average 32 points per game in that time. He scored 41 in their Game 2 win over the Jazz and followed that up with 31 as they won Game 3. Once Doncic returned, Brunson only had one more 30-point game the rest of the way.

Playing alongside a ball-dominant player like Doncic does diminish opportunities for teammates to shine and the idea here is that if Brunson can become the primary ball-handler, then his numbers can shoot up. That is apparently what New York is pitching to him as well, as they want him to be the full-time point guard and run the show, something he can't do in Dallas with Luka being the main man. We doubt Brunson can lead the Knicks to a lot of success in the postseason with him as the top dog, as only a few like Doncic are capable of that. As for Dallas, they had taken a step forward this offseason by trading for Christian Wood but Brunson's departure would mean they'd be right where they were before.