The tight-lipped New York Knicks front office has apparently sprung a leak, as the smoke surrounding their interest in Jalen Brunson is increasing.
Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reported the Knicks were looking to clear 25 million dollars in cap space to clear up room for Brunson, a report validated two nights later by the cap-clearing move of offloading Kemba Walker’s 9 million dollar contract along with passing on using their lottery pick.
Marc Stein reported that the Brunson sweepstakes are real, and that the Knicks look to sway away Brunson from the Mavericks with a roughly four-year, $100 million dollar contract.
Massive week looms in the NBA. Working on nailing down a Sunday night @SpotifyLive session to set it all up.— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 25, 2022
In the interim … here’s yesterday’s post-draft piece on The Jalen Brunson Sweepstakes: https://t.co/YWpQPrNqXV
Coaching and free agency latest:
However, it would reportedly only take a four-year 85-88 million dollar contract from billionaire Mark Cuban to keep him in Dallas. The Mavericks would also be able to offer an additional year onto a contract offer due to possessing Brunson’s Bird Rights. If only the Knicks had targeted him rather than Dennis Smith in the Porzingis trade, those rights would be theirs.
Even without the reports, the infamous CAA ties loom with Leon Rose’s son Sam operating as Brunson’s day-to-day agent and the Knicks quietly bringing on Rick Brunson as an assistant coach in early June after resigning from the Timberwolves in 2018 from harassment complaints. Rick was Leon Rose’s first client from his days as an agent, and he has remained close with the family since.
It remains to be seen what, if any offer would be out of the Mavericks’ price range and Cuban did tell Stein that “We can pay him more than anybody. And I think he wants to stay and that’s most important.”
Brunson is coming off a career year in which he had to step up at times when Luka Doncic was absent from injuries, most notably in the playoffs where he stole a win from the Jazz. Brunson averaged 16 points per game in the regular season, but amped that up to 21.6 points per game in the playoffs.
NBA free agency begins June 30th, but the Knicks have certainly already been pursuing the unrestricted free agent.