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Knicks Clear Space for Jalen Brunson Max Contract; No Sign & Trade for Mavs

It appears that the Dallas Mavericks are preparing for Jalen Brunson to sign with the New York Knicks in free agency ... with nothing to show for it.

The Dallas Mavericks entered the offseason with re-signing Jalen Brunson listed as their top priority. It's believed that Brunson also started the offseason thinking he'd re-sign with Dallas ... but things can change in a hurry.

With just two days left until free agency, multiple reports suggest that Brunson has already decided to join the New York Knicks. Although the Mavs probably hoped to salvage something from this situation in the form of a sign-and-trade, the Knicks have now created enough cap space to sign Brunson outright, not needing any help from Dallas.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Knicks traded Nerlens Noel and Alec Burks to the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night in exchange for two second-round picks. This move helps New York unload $19 million in cap space with the overall number expanding to a projected $30 million.

Multiple reports have stated that Brunson will get a four-year contract exceeding $100 million, but the exact number hasn't been pegged just yet. This latest move suggests that the Knicks could be preparing to offer Brunson a full max contract. If that turns out to be the case, here is what said contract would look like:

2022-23: $30,250,000

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2023-24: $31,762,500

2024-25: $33,275,000

2025-26: $34,787,500

Total: $130,075,000

If the Knicks are willing to fork out that kind of money for a player of Brunson's current status, it's easy to see why he's so interested in joining them. Not only does Brunson have family ties with the Knicks, but he'd also have the opportunity to run his own team as well – something that wasn't ever going to happen with the Mavs having superstar Luka Doncic.

We'll have to wait until Thursday evening to get the final numbers, but for now, it looks like Brunson could be getting a bigger payday than most people initially anticipated ... including the Mavs.