Jalen Brunson reveals huge mistake Mavericks made with him
The Dallas Mavericks botched a golden opportunity to keep guard Jalen Brunson at an affordable price, at least according to the player himself.
Brunson spoke with Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report recently and revealed that as late as last season, he would have been willing to re-sign with Dallas for roughly half of what the New York Knicks ultimately paid him. The Mavericks, however, dragged their feet on negotiations.
Haynes writes that Brunson would have accepted the four-year, $55.5 million extension he was eligible for at the start of the 2021-22 season. The Mavericks never made such an offer, even when Brunson’s representatives tried to start discussions in January 2022. It was only in February that Dallas put out feelers about whether Brunson would accept that offer, by which point the guard was clearly playing himself into a bigger contract on the open market.
“There were two times that I thought we had offers on the table before the season, and then around, I think December or January, they looked the other way,” Brunson said. “They had every right in the world to do so. I don’t blame them for making any business decisions. That’s on them.”
Brunson ultimately signed with the Knicks for $104 million over four years. The Knicks were ultimately disciplined for tampering, but that clearly did not bother them in the end.
If this is all accurate, the Mavericks really blew it. Brunson emerged as the team’s second-best player behind Luka Doncic last season, and they could have had him at a bargain rate had they been a bit more proactive. Now he is making more money averaging a career-high 23.8 points per game for the Knicks, while the Mavericks are floundering in their bid to make the playoffs.