The Dallas Mavericks are definitely ruing the fact that they didn't manage to agree on an extension with Jalen Brunson last year. Brunson was one of the major positives in what was a season full of positives for the Mavericks in 2021-22, as they made an unlikely run to the Western Conference Finals. Brunson impressed as he averaged 21.6 points per game in the playoffs, but all the excitement and promise from that might be going away soon, due to some concerning developments for Dallas.
The New York Knicks had reportedly been interested in signing Brunson after his fine displays in the postseason and they just cleared up some cap space by trading Kemba Walker as they look to step up their pursuit for the guard. As per Mark Stein, the move now enables the Knicks to offer a four-year deal worth approximately $100 million to Brunson.
"The New York Knicks expected to offer Jalen Brunson a four-year contract worth approximately $100 million when free agency opens next week, sources tell Marc Stein of Substack.
The Dallas Mavericks twice passed on the opportunity to extend Brunson on a four-year, $55.6 million deal, both before the season and in January. The Mavericks wanted to retain the ability to trade Brunson should a deal for a star become available.
When the season ended, the Mavericks believed a four-year offer in the $88 million range would be enough to retain Brunson.
The Mavericks have the ability to offer Brunson a fifth year, but the Knicks can offer a bigger role plus the familiarity of his father, Rick Brunson, on the coaching staff and his former agent, Leon Rose, in charge of the front office. Brunson is also represented by Rose's son Sam Rose.
The Knicks used draft night to begin to clear additional cap space for free agency."
This is just bad news for the Mavs who are now staring down the prospect of having to offer over $25 million per year to Brunson and, while he is a very good player, that does seem like a bit too much. As per the report, the Mavs twice passed up the chance to sign him to a four-year $55 million deal, a decision they will regret for a long time.
They just traded for Christian Wood in a win-now move and losing Brunson just a couple of weeks later would put them right back where they were, in need of another scoring option. They put themselves in this hole last year and are having to pay for it big time.