One of the latest NBA rumors pertains to Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson; the Pistons, Knicks and Pacers are interested in signing the player. Brunson could re-sign with Dallas in the coming months, but if he doesn’t, the guard could sign with one of these other teams. If the Mavericks refuse to offer Brunson a fair contract, these Eastern Conference teams will likely offer the fourth-year player a generous deal.
According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, Knicks executives are focused on pursuing the unrestricted free agent. Fischer mentioned, “The Knicks executives’ controversial appearance in Dallas also raised eyebrows because of the expectation that New York will aggressively pursue Mavericks ball-handler Jalen Brunson as an unrestricted free agent.”
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Not to mention, the Pistons are interested in pairing Brunson with their star guard. Fischer explained, “But word of the Pistons’ interest in pairing Brunson with Rookie of the Year finalist Cade Cunningham, similar to how Brunson has thrived alongside Dallas’ supersized point-forward Luka Doncic, has been as persistent as the Knicks’ rumored desire for Brunson.”
Jalen Brunson to the Pacers is possible | NBA Rumors
Additionally, the NBA analyst discussed the Pacers as a feasible landing spot. “The Indiana Pacers, who hired former Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle last offseason, are another team known to have interest in Brunson’s services.” While New York and Indiana are believable destinations for Brunson, Detroit seems less plausible. It’s an option, so there’s that.
While the Pacers finished only one spot higher than the Pistons in the East standings, they are in a better situation offensively. Their future is bright. Would Brunson want to play for a rebuilding Pistons team? Probably not. Plus, head coach Rick Carlisle is a proven winner. After all, the Mavs defeated the Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals.
In addition to this potential signing, not much is known right now on whether or not the team will trade Malcolm Brogdon. Before this season’s trade deadline, the Pacers acquired Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield in a packaged deal from the Kings. Contrary to popular belief, Indiana is capable of becoming a playoff contender next season.
The Knicks are a suitable landing spot for Jalen Brunson
If Brunson signed with the Knicks, his style of play would complement Julius Randle and R.J. Barrett. While these players are not as explosive as Luka Doncic, Brunson could become New York’s best guard hands down. The team needs direction. Head coach Tom Thibodeau would appreciate having him.
Thus far, the 25-year-old is meeting expectations in the 2022 NBA Playoffs. Brunson is averaging 23.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. So, why wouldn’t Mavs general manager Nico Harrison make it a top priority to re-sign one of his best producing players? If he doesn’t want him, Knicks G.M. Leon Rose will sign the guard.
Furthermore, on Jul. 16, 2018, the guard signed a four-year, $6.11 million contract with the Mavs. For the 2021-22 season, Brunson earned $1,802,057 with the organization. Brunson will not ever receive a Doncic-level deal from the Mavs. So, if he is expecting a king’s ransom, he’ll be greatly disappointed.
Regarding Luka Doncic’s contract, on Aug. 10, 2021, he signed a rookie extension deal worth $207 million. Of course, Doncic’s rookie extension contract is the most expensive in NBA history. It seems the three-time All-Star is worth every penny. Both Doncic and Brunson are playing at a high level, especially during crunch time.
However, where does this leave Brunson? Aside from a contract offer, his decision to leave may rest on the result of this second-round playoff series against the Suns. Dallas has a lot of talent. If he wants to win a ring, out of the teams listed here, his best bet is staying with the Mavs. The Suns take on the Mavs tonight in Game 6 at 7:30 p.m. ET.
All things considered, fans are getting ahead of themselves. It’s best to wait until after the playoffs. First and foremost, this is perhaps another unsubstantiated story to add to the list of NBA rumors out there. Jake Fischer is credible, but he’s not always on point. Other NBA rumors and betting news are on the main page.