Free agent Jalen Brunson has agreed to a four-year, $104 million contract with the New York Knicks, his agents Aaron Mintz and CAA Basketball’s Sam Rose told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Thursday.
The deal includes a player option on the final season.
Representatives for Brunson contacted the Dallas Mavericks, his former team, on Thursday afternoon to inform them of the guard’s intentions to sign with the Knicks, sources said. A scheduled meeting was canceled after the conversation.
Brunson’s departure from Dallas to New York has been widely expected for days as the Knicks made him a more lucrative offer to play a bigger role in a franchise with which he has deep family ties, including the recent arrival of his father, Rick Brunson. , as an assistant coach.
Knicks president Leon Rose, who has made a series of trades since draft night to create enough room to sign Brunson, is a former high-profile players’ agent whose first client was Rick Brunson. He also represented Jalen Brunson early in his career. Rick Brunson’s recent hire reunited him with Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau, for whom he also served as an assistant with the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves.
Brunson, 25, who is coming off a stellar season in which he averaged 16.3 points and 4.8 assists per game, intends to help revitalize a New York franchise that’s n haven’t won a playoff in the past nine seasons. New York’s only playoff appearance and winning campaign during that span was in 2020-21, Thibodeau’s first season as Knicks head coach, when they went 41-31 before losing as the No. 4 seed to the Atlanta Hawks in the first round.
Brunson established himself as Dallas’ No. 2 option behind All-NBA guard Luka Doncic, his classmate from the 2018 draft, after joining the starting lineup full-time in December. Brunson helped lead the Mavericks to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in 11 years, averaging 21.6 points per game during the playoffs. He exploded for performances of 41 and 31 points in first-round wins over the Utah Jazz while Doncic was sidelined by a strained calf, a strong indication Brunson could thrive as a primary playmaker. of a team.
“It’s a really good fit [in Dallas], but at the end of the day, my son is no different than the next man,” Rick Brunson told ESPN during that first-round series. “You’re trying to raise them in the right way in terms of understanding the game, but everyone wants what Luka has. I don’t care who you are. Everyone wants that feeling of, ‘Hey, I can do this too.’ I don’t always think the grass is greener on the other side, but we’re going to sit down this summer and go through all the pros and cons of staying here or going somewhere else.”
Mavericks governor Mark Cuban and general manager Nico Harrison have ranked Brunson as the franchise’s top priority this offseason following the playoff run, but Dallas’ confidence in keeping him has steadily diminished in the days leading up to free agency.
Sources said the Mavericks were willing to give Brunson a five-year deal – which only Dallas can offer due to owning his Bird rights – which was comparable to the four-year, $85 million deal that Fred VanVleet signed with the Toronto Raptors in 2020.
Brunson, an unrestricted free agent because the fourth season of his rookie contract was not guaranteed instead of a team option, declined the Mavs’ offer of a $55.5 million contract extension dollars over four years past the trade deadline, when Dallas forward Dorian Finney-Smith signed an identical deal. At this point, Brunson was confident he would earn a lot more as a free agent.
Jalen Brunson had informed the Mavs in January that he was ready to sign the extension if it was then offered, Rick Brunson told ESPN during the playoffs. Dallas made the calculated decision to suspend talks until after the trade deadline, in case the Mavs had the chance to trade for a star, because an extension would have kept Brunson from being trade-eligible for six years. month.