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Jalen Brunson sweepstakes down to Mavericks, Knicks?


I’ve been repeatedly asked since my Friday piece on The Jalen Brunson Sweepstakes to handicap which team is in the lead to sign the coveted point guard in free agency. That can’t be accurately done yet. The Knicks have unquestionably positioned themselves as a very real threat to the Mavericks, but presumably only Brunson and his father, Knicks assistant coach Rick Brunson, know precisely where things stand. The closest thing to certainty on the Brunson front at this juncture, as Thursday’s 6 PM ET bell for the actual start of free agency approaches, is that Detroit and Indiana are no longer being mentioned as potential destinations.
Source: Marc Stein @ marcstein.substack.com

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Tommy Beer @TommyBeer
Here’s why Tyus Jones, not Jalen Brunson, should be the New York #Knicks No. 1 target when free agency begins next week:
tommybeer.substack.com/p/what-if-the-…12:33 PM

Tim Reynolds @ByTimReynolds
Many, many things confuse me these days, and at the top of the list is this: Jalen Brunson is a really good player, but when did he become the Absolute Must Have For The Knicks Or Else They Will Remain Bad Forever guy? – 12:30 PM

Chuck Cooperstein @coopmavs
I don’t know Jalen Brunson’s ultimate decision, but if he does stay with the Mavericks I’m going to be laughing pretty hard at the national (mostly New York based) media who, post @NBA Draft, are speaking as if his leaving for the Knicks is a fait accompli – 11:44 AM

Steve Popper @StevePopper
NBA Sunday Insider: Silver lining for Knicks after NBA Draft? Cap space to pursue Jalen Brunson; Draft winners and losers; Plus Knicks beyond the first round
newsday.com/sports/columni… via @Newsday8:16 AM

Steve Popper @StevePopper
NBA Sunday Insider: Silver lining for Knicks after NBA Draft? Cap space to pursue Jalen Brunson; Draft winners and losers; and the Knicks beyond the first round newsday.com/sports/columni… via @Newsday6:49 PM

Marc Stein @TheSteinLine
Massive week looms in the NBA. Working on nailing down a Sunday night @SpotifyLive session to set it all up.
In the interim … here’s yesterday’s post-draft piece on The Jalen Brunson Sweepstakes: marcstein.substack.com/p/brunson-swee…
Coaching and free agency latest: – 4:18 PM

Fred Katz @FredKatz
For what it’s worth, dealing Reddish without bringing back any salary would get the Knicks about $22M under the cap. That’s a legit starting salary for Jalen Brunson but I’m not sure whether or not it’s a winning one. It’s possible they’d have to clear out more room than that. – 12:47 PM

Michael Scotto @MikeAScotto
Story: The Knicks could trade Cam Reddish to create more cap space for a run at Jalen Brunson. When New York tried to trade for Pistons guard Jaden Ivey, Reddish was a part of the proposal, sources said. Taj Gibson could also be waived. More on @Jorge Sierra. hoopshype.com/lists/nba-rumo…12:12 PM

Steve Popper @StevePopper
While Leon Rose happily praises financial flexibility the Knicks appear ready to use it. Jalen Brunson’s ties to Knicks could be a deal-maker newsday.com/sports/basketb… via @Newsday8:32 AM

Sam Quinn @SamQuinnCBS
If the Mavs think they’re losing Jalen Brunson to the Knicks, I think they should engage the Pacers+Knicks on a 3-way deal to land Malcolm Brogdon.
The Knicks need to use another FRP to clear space for Brunson. If you’re Dallas, why not do an S&T and redirect that pick to Indy? – 10:31 PM

Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA
Something to keep an eye on over the next few days:
The Dallas Mavericks have a $10.8M Traded Player Exception that expires on June 27 from trading Josh Richardson to Boston last year.
It would increase the tax bill (growing larger if Jalen Brunson re-signs), but it’s available. – 7:54 PM

Jake Fischer @JakeLFischer
The full episode of ‘Please Don’t Aggregate This’ with the *cough* analytical @SethPartnow is live on @getcallin.
Conversation on Jalen Brunson, Dejounte Murray, telling draft night stories, what Indiana and Atlanta have on the trade table, and more:
callin.com/link/bNkqwKxlgH6:47 PM

Eddie Sefko @ESefko
What draft night means for Jalen Brunson, along with other takeaways from a strong night for the Mavericks.
mavs.com/2022-draft-tak…5:27 PM

Steve Popper @StevePopper
Knicks moves cleared space – now, the future is days away, or better be. Jalen Brunson’s ties to Knicks could be a deal-maker newsday.com/sports/basketb… via @Newsday4:24 PM

Tony Mejia @MejiaDinero
Kings & Knicks screwed up in the NBA Draft again. I get NYK freeing cap space for its pursuit of Jalen Brunson but Sacramento selecting anyone over Jaden Ivey at No. 4 was STUPID. He didn’t want to be there but you take the asset and turn him into a better haul than Keegan Murray – 3:58 PM

Marc Stein @TheSteinLine
The Jalen Brunson Sweepstakes just got real. My in-depth story on the major momentum New York is building in its bid to sign Brunson away from Dallas: marcstein.substack.com/p/brunson-swee…2:57 PM

Michael Scotto @MikeAScotto
Story: A look at potential sign-and-trade options for Deandre Ayton with the Pistons, Hawks, Pacers and Spurs. Plus, reporting on who the Knicks could move to clear cap space to pursue Jalen Brunson, Wizards interest in Tyus Jones, and more on @Jorge Sierra. hoopshype.com/lists/nba-rumo…1:27 PM

Brad Townsend @townbrad
Updated with reaction from Mavericks president Nico Harrison:
Mavs trades overshadowed by Knicks’ maneuvering and looming battle for Jalen Brunson dallasnews.com/sports/maveric…3:26 AM

Tim MacMahon @espn_macmahon
Mavs GM Nico Harrison said it was “expected” that the Knicks, who are known to have strong interest in Jalen Brunson, would make moves to create cap space tonight. On hopes of re-signing Brunson: “Until he tells us that he doesn’t want to be here, we’re optimistic.” – 3:12 AM

Ian Begley @IanBegley
Talked about the Knicks’ trades and the implications of a Jalen Brunson signing with @CWilliamson44, who had the best Draft Night suit at Barclays on Thursday: pic.twitter.com/injeanXIlH12:22 AM

Marc Berman @NYPost_Berman
In a nutshell, more draft capital for a Donovan Mitchell-type trade and to attach to a Nerlens Noel dump. That will give them plenty of cap space for Jalen Brunson. All their main guys were gone at 11. – 12:16 AM

Chris Mannix @SIChrisMannix
If the Knicks land Jalen Brunson — a rising 25-year old point guard that fills a decades-long need — tonight’s deals make sense. If they don’t, the decision to move out of the first round of this draft could be a disaster. – 10:22 PM

Brad Townsend @townbrad
Knicks are trying like heck to clear cap room (an estimated $16-18M to this point) for their pursuit of Jalen Brunson. Certainly getting Dallas’ attention, but I don’t get the sense the Mavericks are worried.
Yet. – 9:52 PM

Josh Newman @Joshua_Newman
Half my life has been spent watching Knicks brass overpay players and make odd decisions with cap space.
I am emotionally ready to see this end with Jalen Brunson getting wildly overpaid. – 9:49 PM

Wes Goldberg @wcgoldberg
I like Jalen Brunson, but the Knicks traded out of the lottery for Jalen Brunson? – 9:48 PM

James Edwards III @JLEdwardsIII
By giving DET Jalen Duren, who the organization has fallen in move with in the pre-draft process (and before), the Knicks now have the space to make a run at Jalen Brunson because Detroit took Kemba’s contract. Pistons able to eat bad contracts because of Grant trade.
All win. – 9:41 PM

Ryan McDonough @McDNBA
The Knicks will move off of Kemba Walker’s $9.16m salary while also removing a late Lottery pick’s salary from their cap sheet
It’s a good start toward creating the $20m+ in cap space – to pursue Jalen Brunson and other top free agents – but they still have work to do – 9:38 PM

Michael Pina @MichaelVPina
a max contract for jalen brunson is the knicks big draft day win – 9:15 PM

Kristian Winfield @Krisplashed
Knicks fans, yes, no or unsure to Jalen Brunson? – 8:54 PM

Fred Katz @FredKatz
Initial thought about the Pistons taking Jaden Ivey fifth:
I wonder if this takes them out of the Jalen Brunson market, considering they can use all that cap room elsewhere and they now have Ivey & Cunningham paired up. – 8:30 PM

Jeff Goodman @GoodmanHoops
Not easy to find a “guy” in 2nd round. Here are some of the best over the last decade:
Nikola Jokic, 41st (2014)
Draymond Green, 35th (2012)
Khris Middleton, 39th (2012)
Jalen Brunson, 33rd (2018)
Malcolm Brogdon, 36th (2016)
Dillon Brooks, 45th in (2017) – 4:51 PM

More on this storyline

Derrick Rose’s value may go beyond what he can produce on the floor for the Knicks. His presence alone could contribute to landing their priority in free agency. The veteran guard is yet another link between the Knicks and coveted point guard Jalen Brunson, their bond tracing back to Brunson’s formative years in Illinois when Rose was the Bulls’ star point guard and Brunson had dreams of playing in the NBA one day. -via New York Post / June 26, 2022

“Jalen would go over to the Bulls facility and practice with the Bulls players,” Pat Ambrose, Brunson’s coach at Adlai Stevenson High School who remains close to him, told The Post in a phone interview. “That’s where he became good friends with Derrick Rose. So your story gets deep with the Knicks. Derrick saw that young Jalen was a very, very good player and Derrick was a Chicago kid, and really started to mentor Jalen basketball-wise.” -via New York Post / June 26, 2022

Without doing anything, the Pacers have enough cap space to get into the Brunson sweepstakes. If Brunson were seriously interested in joining the Pacers and reuniting with head coach Rick Carlisle, they could turn it into a sign-and-trade where they potentially get an incentive to allow Dallas to generate atrade exception. -via HoopsHype / June 26, 2022

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