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#pounditWednesday, June 7, 2023

Mark Cuban has interesting comments about Jalen Brunson’s departure

Mark Cuban smiles

Nov 27, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban smiles for the camera before the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the New Orleans Pelicans at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

After Steve Nash in 2004 and Tyson Chandler in 2011, Mark Cuban is addressing his team’s latest painful departure.

The Dallas Mavericks owner spoke this week about the loss of guard Jalen Brunson in free agency and made some interesting comments. Namely, Cuban said that the Mavs didn’t have a real chance of keeping Brunson.

“It really wasn’t about the amount of money,” Cuban said of Brunson’s decision, per Steve Popper of Newsday. “We really didn’t get a chance to make an offer. It was Jalen’s choice. And I understand it. He knew those guys [the Knicks] his entire life. He grew up there. It makes perfect sense.”

Cuban did also say that he has no hard feelings over Brunson’s exit.

“I wish him nothing but the best,” said Cuban. “You bust your [butt] and you have that choice. He deserves it. It happens. It’s the way this league works. It’s a business. You trade a player, you say it’s a business. You lose a player, it’s a business. It’s just the way it goes.”

Brunson, 25, was selected by the Mavs in the second round of the 2018 NBA Draft. Though expectations for Brunson as a pro were not very high, Dallas developed him into a reliable starting guard. Brunson averaged 16.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game last season as Luka Doncic’s second-in-command, helping the Mavs make the Western Conference Finals.

But the Brunson era in Dallas came to an end this offseason when he agreed to a four-year, $104 million contract to join the New York Knicks. Cuban’s comments make it sound like the Mavs had no shot of keeping Brunson, as the former Villanova star had already made up his mind on New York. That stands to reason since the Knicks already had one extreme advantage well before free agency even began.


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