DALLAS - The Dallas Mavericks have vowed to retain Jalen Brunson, even after having passed on the chance to get a four-year, $55.5 million contract extension done with Brunson after last season.
So now? He’s emerged as one of the top free agents to watch in the summer. … and the New York Knicks specifically are getting their ducks in a row to sign Brunson and bring him to the Big Apple.
The Knicks have been frequently linked as a potential suitor for Brunson given his father's personal ties to their organization; in fact, New York just hired the senior Brunson. Their persisting need for a long-term answer at the point guard should make for a motivated pursuit.
And now come reports that the Knicks are in the process of clearing out cap room to make way for Luka Doncic’s backcourt mate.
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The Mavericks have suggested they do not want to help facilitate a sign-and-trade sending Brunson to the Knicks. But if New York clears out the room to give Brunson $25 million, the Knicks might not need help .
The Mavericks, meanwhile, seem likely to do whatever they can to retain Brunson in free agency. They are able to exceed the salary cap to re-sign him since they have his Bird rights. However, they cannot use that spending room on any potential external signings, meaning it's probably Brunson or nothing. … or a sign-and-trade of Brunson to another spot.
But if Brunson wants the Knicks and the room is created? Dallas has a challenge on its hands.