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NBA Gives Knicks Slap On Wrist for Tampering with Mavs Ex Jalen Brunson

The NBA investigated how the New York Knicks handled Jalen Brunson’s free agency. The results are in, but they likely aren’t what the Dallas Mavericks were wanting.
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What’s the price for tampering with another team’s player in free agency? According to the NBA, the answer to that question is a second-round pick.

The league announced on Wednesday that the New York Knicks are being forced to give up a second-round pick after their investigation on former Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson’s free agency revealed there was tampering involved, as everyone expected.

If this is the kind of slap on the wrist the NBA is going to hand out for tampering, commissioner Adam Sliver might as well do away with tampering rules and investigations all together. If the goal is to dissuade teams from tampering in the future, the league is failing in reaching that goal. All teams tamper to some extent, and the potential reward is much higher than the potential punishment.

Brunson is having a career-best year while leading the Knicks back to relevancy. He’s averaging 20.8 points and 6.2 assists while shooting 46.8 percent overall, including 37.4 percent from deep. The Knicks are riding an eight-game win streak and currently sit at sixth in the Eastern Conference with an 18-13 record.

If the Knicks had to do it all over again, you can bet they’d do it the same way knowing all they’d have to lose is a second-round pick.

As frustrating as all of this likely is for owner Mark Cuban, the fact of the matter is that the struggling Mavs could’ve secured Brunson on a contract extension before any of this drama was ever a possibility. According to multiple reports, Dallas had multiple opportunities to offer Brunson an extension before last season’s trade deadline and chose not to.

Now, the Mavs’ big loss is the Knicks’ big gain, and there’s nothing more that can be done about it. As unsatisfying as the NBA’s investigation is, it’s officially time for Dallas to move on. What’s done is done.

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