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#pounditSaturday, December 3, 2022

Dark horse team emerging for Jalen Brunson?

Jalen Brunson talks with the media

May 18, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson (13) participates in a press conference after game one of the 2022 western conference finals against the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks fans are essentially already preparing to buy their Jalen Brunson jerseys, but one opposing team may be trying to pull the rug.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports reported on Wednesday that the Miami Heat have secured a meeting with the free agent guard Brunson. Haynes further characterizes the Heat as a “dark horse” for Brunson’s services.

The capped-out Heat would need to swing a sign-and-trade for the 25-year-old Brunson, possibly involving a large contract like Kyle Lowry or Duncan Robinson going back to Dallas. But either way, there does not seem to be much reason for Brunson to go to the Heat, other than for the allure of the Miami lifestyle. Brunson would not have a featured role with other mouths to feed such as Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Tyler Herro (but could get such a featured role as a Knick). If Brunson wants to contend, meanwhile, he might as well just stay in Dallas since the Mavericks made it as far as the Heat did in the playoffs this year (on top of Texas, like Florida, also having no state income tax).

The Knicks are still seen as the frontrunners for Brunson, and they have many key advantages in pursuing the ex-Villanova star. But they should probably hold off on popping the champagne for now, as the Brunson sweepstakes might not be over just yet.

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