We’re less than three weeks away from the day it all is said and done. Less than three weeks away from knowing where the initial steps in the Hall-of-Fame careers of the chosen ones will take place. Less than three wee—cut the bait. You know what this really means? Rumors. Tons of them. And 99-percent barely believable, let alone true.
That’s why we’re here today: to recap a bunch of the whispers that have been around for the past few days, sum up and discuss them a bit, and ultimately give the final Posting & Toasting verdict on whether that’s good, bad, or neutral news for the New York Knicks franchise.
Free agent Jalen Brunson to exceed Fred VanVleet’s $85 million
Uh, oh, the flexing by the Brunson fam. See, Jalen Brunson can very well be considered the no. 1 free agent of the 2022 class, so any and every money he makes a month from now will be well worth it and probably well spent by whoever ends having the will to pony up those big bucks.
Perhaps Zach LaVine is the better FA, yes, but the other names that have come to your mind have all restrictions or options baked into their deals (Kyrie, Harden, Beal the latter; Deandre Ayton the former). Now, are we sure Brunson is worth a freaking FVV-level deal!?
Marc Stein ($) is reporting that Brunson is, in fact, going to command such a huge contract once he officially becomes a free agent in July. That means he expects to sign a deal north of the four-year, $85M contract FVV snatched from the Raps. Math 101 taught me 85/4 comes out at 21+ million a pop, which... Oh My Lord!
Now, I have to say that I believe this could be the case. Circle back to the first paragraph of this mini section. Brunson is a prime free agent and will find himself in a market depleted of bona fide performers available to the best suitor, let alone at the hardest position to handle on a basketball court. It is what it is, and he could end filling his bag to ridiculous extents.
That doesn’t mean I want the Knicks to go pay such amount for him. One thing is to land the best player, another one very different to go ahead with the best option, all things considered. And if you tell me a fully-maxed Brunson is up for grabs (which would take a difficult sign-and-trade to pull off, mind you) while the other option is going with young Immanuel Quickley at the point on his current deal, then I guess you already know my answer.
Verdict: Good. We can only hope the Knicks hard-pass on signing this man, even more at that sky-high price, so this is very good news as the figure alone should remove New York from Brunson’s sweepstakes.
Dallas isn’t worried about New York signing Jalen Brunson’s dad Rick Brunson
If you have been living under a rock through the past week, here’s the news covered by our own Joe Flynn. That’s correct. The Knicks, because the Knicks, had to land Rick ahead of Jalen’s free agency. Of course, the need for an assistant coach was supreme so necessary, instant measures had to be taken, and Rick Brunson is expected to gloriously fill that staff gap now in partnering Tom Thibodeau on the Madison Square Garden sidelines.
Nah, bruh. Rick Brunson. Father of Jalen Brunson. Can’t get any better if you ask me. The Knicks are surely covering all corners so when time comes for pundits and analysists out there to bash the franchise once it fails to land Jalen they can at least say... that they tried and moved heaven and earth to poach the younger of the Brunsons after landing the older. LOL. This bunch.
Of course, the Mavs aren’t scared shitless of this move. I mean.
Verdict: Neutral? Go New York, Go New York, Go!
Knicks are very unlikely to acquire Donovan Mitchell via trade this summer
Jake Fischer, from Bleacher Report, let folks know a few days ago about the latest developments of Donovan Mitchell’s potential availability and the subsequent interest by the New York Knicks in getting the homegrown talent back to the MSG confines.
This whole Mitchell/Gobert/Jazz drama has been around forever. Utah keeps losing playoff series, the Jazz are seemingly this close to firing head coach Quin Snyder, and the consensus opinion out there in the NBA community (insiders and outsiders included) is that the St. Lake Musicians will ultimately end axing the coach and moving pieces (read: Gobert and/or Mitchell) around sooner than later.
We reported a few weeks ago about the possibility of Utah moving Gobert in exchange for some other pieces if only to shake things up a bit. At the end of the day, though, and whether you like it or not, Rudy Gobert is a very legit big man and a bona fide defensive performer nightly. It won’t be cheap for whoever is interested in his services to trade for him. Does tha mean Mitchell could be easier-to-move player? Maybe. Maybe not.
Mitchell isn’t going anywhere any time soon, buddies. Of course, the Knicks need a point guard and Donovan Mitchell happens to be a very extraordinary one. But Mitchell is in the middle of a deal that still have three years to be fulfilled and a player option tucked at the end of them, virtually making it a four-season agreement between the guard and the Jazz franchise. Now, on top of that, Utah doesn’t seem convinced at all about New York’s assets and potential offers down the road.
There have been proposals out there pitched by this and that reporter, but nothing truly substantial that would seemingly put Utah in a serious trade-conundrum. That means RJ Barrett and/or Julius Randle, the two best players in New York right now, are not cutting it as the main piece(s) the Jazz would get in return of dealing Mitchell away. I’m not saying this is totally bad for the Knicks—mostly because this thing being a no-no means New York will keep to stay on the homegrown-rebuilding path, which I am 100% happy with—but it’s actually bad in terms of the value other franchises think RJ/JR have going forward.
Verdict: Half-bad. Not entirely bad because New York will need to stay on their developmental, organic rebuilding effort with the likes of RJ/IQ/Grimes/et. al... but kinda bad because RJ/JR/IQ might not be seen as bona fide game-changing players by other franchises around the league?
D’Angelo Russell, Collin Sexton name-dropped as alternative options for the Knicks
The same Jake Fischer touched on some other names in his column, including P&T favorite Jaden Ivey—who, let’s face it, won’t be available at the Knicks’ 11th overall pick and would take a big offer for New York to trade up and snatch him earlier—and a surprising name in D’Angelo Russell’s. D’Lo, who is playing for the Wolves these days, went to Minny by the way of Golden State in exchange for Andrew Wiggins.
Russell is not a bad player, let’s be real for a minute. That said, this rumor doesn’t have many legs as it screams toddler-reasoning was all in use when time came to craft it. Yes, the Knicks brought Gersson Rosas to the organization and he was the man who landed Russell in Minnesota. Does that mean the relation and love is mutual and strong enough for New York to seek trading for D’Lo this summer. Don’t buying it.
Fischer also mentioned Cavs’ upcoming free agent Collin Sexton, who is coming off a season-long injury and entering the free market in a few weeks. The Knicks—as Fischer has it—are not expected to make a run at Sexton. And we celebrate.
Verdict: Good. In that New York has nothing to win from trading for Russell/signing Sexton and everybody is better off staying put.