Heading into the offseason, the New York Knicks free agency board had one name at the top of the list: Jalen Brunson. The Dallas Mavericks point guard just wrapped up a hugely productive postseason run and will hit the unrestricted free hand this summer.
The Knicks have been looking for a point guard for years, and at just 25, Brunson is a great candidate for the job. However, the Mavericks seem intent on keeping him close. However, according to recent reports, they may not be willing to meet its asking price.
According to Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus, Brunson’s original asking price might be a bit too expensive for Dallas. In return, they could be forced to explore sign-and-trade options, and the Knicks would be at the top of that list.
“While New York won’t have enough cap room, multiple sources believe Dallas may blink at Brunson’s asking price, forced to sign him and sell him to the Knicks,” Pincus reported.
Pincus also noted that Dallas’ potential reluctance isn’t the only thing that could help Brunson win this summer.
According to SNY’s Ian Begley, the Knicks recently hired Rick Brunson as an assistant coach. He is Jalen Brunson’s father, and while he had been considered for the job before, Pincus believes his hiring was no accident.
“The Knicks wanting to hire Rick Brunson is no accident, according to SNY’s Ian Begley. His son, Dallas Mavericks free agent Jalen Brunson, could be next,” Pincus wrote.
Rick Brunson spent time as an assistant coach to Tom Thibodeau with the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves. Reports made it clear that New York didn’t take the move to lure Jalen Brunson. Thibodeau had wanted Brunson on his staff for some time, but they were finally able to pull it off.
Still, the timing seems too good to be true. But if they want to bring the Mavericks’ point guard to New York, they’ll have to find a way to secure a sign-and-trade deal.
Assuming Jalen Brunson gets around $20 million (which is no more than a rough estimate), the Knicks would likely have two choices as far as sign-and-trades go.
The first of these two options would involve Evan Fournier. If Dallas showed interest in the French wing, it would be an easy deal for both sides. However, depending on how long his contract lasts, they might want to go a different route.
The other idea would be for the Mavericks to take on two smaller contracts. You would have to trade for two from Alec Burks, Kemba Walker, Nerlens Noel or Taj Gibson. New York might also offer some younger players in the deal, but they’d much rather keep those players in the Big Apple.
Trading for Brunson is no easy feat, but with the Mavericks reportedly unsure about giving him the contract he wants, New York could have the perfect opportunity to sneak in and steal it.