As expected, the New York Knicks are landing their coveted free agent target Jalen Brunson.
Brunson has reportedly informed the Dallas Mavericks that he intends to sign with the Knicks for a four-year deal worth $104 million, including incentives. His meeting with the Mavericks’ top brass Thursday night was called off hours before the free agency began.
The Mavericks offered Brunson a five-year, $106 million deal to return, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
It has been widely expected that Brunson is going to New York after the Knicks set in motion their plan with a Draft Day trade with the Detroit Pistons. They opened up massive cap space in two separate deals with the Pistons offloading Kemba Walker, Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel.
Brunson is coming off his best season in the NBA, averaging career-high 16.3 points on an efficient 50/37/84 shooting split, 3.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists. Twice the Mavericks fumbled in locking up Brunson to a long-term extension. The former Villanova star cemented his place in the league as one of the rising stars when he carried the Mavericks sans an injured Luka Doncic to a 2-1 series lead against the Utah Jazz.
Brunson averaged 21.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists as he emerged as the second-best player on a Doncic-led Mavericks team.
With the Knicks, Brunson has a shot at growing into an All-Star with the promise of running his own team.
The Brunson signing is the first monumental move of Knicks president Leon Rose, who came on board with the expectation that he would leverage his long-established relationships around the league as one of the top NBA agents.
His deep ties with the Brunson family were all over this massive coup for a Knicks organization that has been perpetually searching for a backcourt stabilizer.
Rose represented Jalen and his father, Rick Brunson, who was recently hired to rejoin Tom Thibodeau’s coaching staff. Rick Brunson also worked under Thibodeau in Chicago and Minnesota. Leon’s son, Sam Rose, is Jalen Brunson’s day-to-day agent at Creative Artists Agency.
A former second-round pick, Brunson has been a winner everywhere he goes. He won two NCAA championships with Villanova and helped the Mavericks reach the Western Conference Finals this past season.
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