Jalen Brunson’s success with the Knicks is making the Dallas Mavericks regret not locking him in for a long-term deal. Brunson, who is thriving with the Knicks, revealed in an interview with Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report that he wanted to remain with the Mavericks for the long haul.
Brunson’s camp was willing to accept the Mavericks’ four-year, $55.5 million extension offer before the 2021-22 season, but the Mavericks declined.
Moreover, the Mavericks’ decision to let Brunson go has come back to haunt them. Brunson was cementing himself as the second-best player on the team after Luka Dončić. After the trade deadline in February, the Mavericks contacted Brunson to offer the same four-year, $55.5 million extension that Dorian Finney-Smith had signed.
However, it was clear that Brunson’s value in free agency would be much higher if he tested the market. The Mavericks ultimately decided to pass on Brunson, and he signed with the Knicks for $104 million.
Why the Mavericks Regret Not Signing Brunson
The Mavericks’ decision not to sign Brunson is turning out to be a disaster. The Mavericks would have arguably had the best contract in the league if they had signed Brunson for $55 million. The team wouldn’t have had to trade Dorian Finney-Smith for Kyrie Irving, who was brought in to fill the void left by Brunson.
Even if Brunson had remained the second-fiddle, 18 PPG scorer that he was with Dallas, the Mavericks could have had him for less than $14 million annually, which would have been a huge bargain. Now that Brunson is an All-Star player, the $104 million the Knicks paid for him looks like a bargain.
How Jalen Brunson is Thriving with the Knicks
Brunson’s success with the Knicks is undeniable. He is averaging career highs in scoring, assists, 3-point attempts, makes, and percentages. Since January 1st, Brunson is averaging just under 28 PPG on 45% 3-point shooting. Over that span, the Knicks have climbed to the East’s No. 5 seed and registered as the third-best offense in the league.
While some question whether Brunson would have achieved this level of success playing alongside the ball-dominant Doncic, there is no question that he would have been a steal for the Mavericks at $55 million.
The Dallas Mavericks’ decision not to sign Jalen Brunson is turning out to be a major mistake. Brunson’s success with the Knicks highlights the fact that the Mavericks had a chance to lock him in for a long-term deal at a bargain price.
The decision not to do so is now costing the team dearly, as they struggle to remain in contention. Meanwhile, Brunson is thriving with the Knicks, and his success is making the Mavericks regret their decision.