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Jalen Brunson to the New York Knicks: Instant reaction

Jalen Brunson to the New York Knicks: Instant reaction

NEW YORK (BVM) — One of the most unsurprising signings of the offseason has been completed. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Jalen Brunson has agreed to terms on a deal with the New York Knicks for 4 years, 110 million dollars. 

Here is everything you need to know about the Knicks’ blockbuster move:

Brunson’s Contract

Brunson’s average annual value comes out to 27.5 million dollars, which seems like an overpay by the New York Knicks. Part of the hefty price may come from his recent playoff performance for the Dallas Mavericks. Brunson averaged 21.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists while shooting 46.6% from the field. Jalen Brunson has yet to be in consideration for an All-Star game, yet he still received a near-max contract.

Brunson’s role with the Knicks

Contract aside, Jalen Brunson will immediately be one of the best Knicks’ point guards of the century. New York has not seen competent point guard play since Raymond Felton close to a decade ago. Brunson will step in and could arguably be the best player on the current roster. Barring a trade four-fifths of their starting lineup should be set with Brunson, Evan Fournier, RJ Barrett and Julius Randle. The final piece to the starting core could be bringing back Mitchell Robinson, which has been reported by various outlets as likely.

With the signing of Brunson, it makes it a little more clear on the front office’s opinion of Immanuel Quickley. The 25th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft has been a nice surprise for Knicks fans, some hoping that he would get an opportunity as a full-time starter for the 2022-2023 season. It will be interesting to see if Tom Thibodeau tries out any backcourts with both Brunson and Quickley, however that would be sacrificing some size and defensive ability.

Brunson’s Knicks’ connections

For years, current Knicks president Leon Rose was a lead agent for CAA, who Brunson is represented by. Rose’s son, Sam, now works for CAA and is one of Brunson’s lead agents. Outside of agency connections, the Knicks brought in Rick Brunson, Jalen’s father, as an assistant coach. Rick has had both playing and coaching stints in the NBA and was most recently the head coach at Camden High School in New Jersey where he coached the No. 1 player in the country for the 2023 class, DJ Wagner.

Brunson’s future in New York

The best case scenario for the Knicks is that the 26-year-old breaks out and becomes a superstar in New York. Maybe a more realistic option, is that they just need Brunson to be an above average point guard. If he can do that, the 110 million dollar contract is much more tolerable. And just because Brunson signed a deal for 4 years, does not guarantee that he will be in New York for 4 years. If a superstar becomes available via trade, Brunson’s contract can be used as filler salary. 

Even if this looks like an overpay, if Brunson can play up to his standards, the Knicks should be able to improve in the short-term while maintaining some long-term flexibility.

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