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#pounditTuesday, January 31, 2023

Mavericks considering surprising offseason move?

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

The Dallas Mavericks could be throwing the NBA for a loop this summer.

Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus reports this week that multiple sources believe that the Mavericks may “blink” at the asking price of unrestricted free agent guard Jalen Brunson. Pincus adds that Dallas could even potentially send Brunson to the New York Knicks in a sign-and-trade instead.

That would be a fairly stunning reversal for the Mavericks, who have largely been expected to retain Brunson to this point. The 25-year-old guard was their steadiest non-Luka Doncic source of offense this season, averaging 16.3 points and 4.8 assists per contest to help Dallas achieve a Western Conference Finals berth. The Mavericks also hold Brunson’s Bird rights, meaning that they can go over the salary cap to re-sign him. Meanwhile, Dallas owner Mark Cuban has openly stated how much he regrets letting past core pieces like Steve Nash and Tyson Chandler leave in free agency.

On the other hand however, Brunson’s price point could be an unpleasant one. Spotrac reports that a max contract for Brunson would be in the range of five years and $175 million. The Mavericks would have to bank on further development from Brunson on top of the knowledge that Spencer Dinwiddie is a capable replacement. The touch-heavy Tim Hardaway Jr. should be back from injury next season as well.

If Dallas does not want to pay Brunson that kind of money but still wants to avoid losing him for nothing, a sign-and-trade becomes their best option. When it comes to the Knicks, we already know that they have one key advantage when it comes to luring Brunson.

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