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Knicks lose 2nd-round pick over Jalen Brunson free agency tampering

The league determined the Knicks began negotiations with Jalen Brunson too early in free agency

Golden State Warriors v New York Knicks Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Salty Dallas Mavericks fans, looking for somewhere to unload their internal disgust over the team losing Jalen Brunson for nothing, have waited with bated breath over this. Online, they’ve been clamoring for some punishment levied against the Knicks for taking Brunson, formerly the team's second-best player, for nothing. Well, the news dropped today the Knicks lost their 2025 second-round pick as a result of the league’s investigation into the team’s signing of guard Jalen Brunson this summer as a free agent. The league determined they had started free agent negotiations with star point guard Brunson before free agency opened, where he eventually agreed to a four-year, $104 million contract.

“This outcome reflected a finding, following an investigation, that the Knicks engaged in free agency discussions involving Jalen Brunson prior to the date when such discussions were permitted,” the NBA said in a statement announcing the decision.

For Knicks fans, the news was overshadowed by an eight-game win streak. For Mavs fans, it was another hit to the ego for delusional fans hoping to be awarded a Knicks first-round pick or at least a second for losing their star guard. Knicks Twitter met the news with a shrug. Fans would gladly pay way more for Brunson’s services, as he has proved to be the team's best free agent signing since Allan Houston in 1996.

The process of these tampering investigations has lost all relevancy, as tampering has become the norm in today’s day and age. Players, execs, and agents are in constant communication. How can the league stay on top of this with social media? They can’t. Furthermore, how the hell can the league truly penalize the Knicks when Brunson’s father, Rick, was hired as an assistant coach before free agency started, muddling the grey area between negotiations even further? As it has been under President of Basketball Operations, Leon Rose, the Knicks handled the situation without controversy or further embarrassment, as the league said the Knicks fully cooperated with the investigation.

Furthermore, as a player agent, Rose’s first client was Rick Brunson as his first client, while also representing Jalen before he became New York’s president of basketball operations. Rose’s son, Sam, is now Brunson’s agent. So the cards were in line for a while on Brunson eventually joining the Knicks.

As a result of the investigation, the Knicks are now only left with 14 second-round picks over the next three years. In other words, who cares. The long- drawn out verdict was worth it for what Brunson has brought to the team. His stable presence and calm demeanor have raised the stock of the franchise and filled a two-decade positional hole. Brunson currently averages 20.8 points and 6.2 assists per game, while his team sits on an 18 - 13 record. Meanwhile, the Mavs are one game under .500 and spiraling out of control. Looks like MFFL will have to channel that anger over losing Brunson at their own inept front office.