Jalen Brunson will become an unrestricted free agency if the Dallas Mavericks do not re-sign him this summer. The New York Knicks are one of Brunson’s likely destinations, but two other clubs are also allegedly interesting in signing him.
More significantly, two other clubs has interest in signing Brunson and have the necessary cap room. The Knicks may be able to get the guard by trading away a few contracts, but they’ll have to put in more effort than the Pistons and Pacers.
According to Marc Stein, Detroit and Indiana have shown interest in Brunson. The Pacers may not be a club that the guard is interested in on paper, but the Pistons positioning to be a fun team to watch in the future. Consider a backcourt with Brunson and Cade Cunningham.
New York also has a youthful squad, but if Detroit makes a more substantial offer than the Knicks’ front office, Brunson might have an Eastern Conference rival.
Jalen Brunson may choose the Pistons or the Pacers over the Knicks.
In 2021-22, Detroit ended at 23-59, one game away from the Eastern Conference’s lowest club. The Pistons have the previous three times they have reached the playoffs in the first round. The last time the squad advanced to the second round was over 15 years ago.
For Detroit, the rebuilding effort has been just that: a process. In 2022, the Pistons will have another chance to hold the No. 1 overall lottery selection.
The Pistons would be able to win more than 23 games in 2022-23 if they signed Brunson. Brunson is likely to sign a four-year, $80 million deal as a free agent since the team has the financial resources to give anything near to a maximum contract.
There’s also Indiana. Before the deadline, the Pacers dealt Domantas Sabonis for Haliburton. Now that the squad is in rebuild mode, Malcolm Brogdon and Myles Turner trade speculations have been circulating.
Brogdon’s absence from the 2022-23 roster is essentially a given, particularly Haliburton’s presence. Turner has a $17.5 million deal expiring next year before becoming an unrestricted free agency, and it’s hard to see him staying in Indiana.
Brunson will have an option of where he wants to go as an unrestricted free agent, and he’ll almost certainly avoid the Pacers, who ended 25-57 last season. However, you never know.
The Knicks have their allure, but they’ll need to make a few transactions to clear salary space to entice Brunson to New York. Nerlens Noel, for example, is a player with whom New York can afford to part ways. It will be simpler for Brunson to sign if Julius Randle trades.
The Mavericks have said that they would not engage in a sign-and-trade for Brunson and want to re-sign him. Luka Doncic’s five-year supermax agreement and Brunson’s success this season might result in Dallas losing Brunson for nothing.
Fans of the Knicks must first hope that Brunson and the Mavericks will not agree to a contract extension. If that occurs, New York supporters will have to hope that the guard prefers New York over Michigan or Indiana. When presented that way, it’s easy to see which team is the superior choice.