Knicks Star Jalen Brunson Spills the Tea on His Mavericks Exit

While there was a segment of the NBA basketball intelligentsia that panned the New York Knicks‘ decision to give Jalen Brunson a veritable bag over the summer, the investment has clearly paid off in a big, bad way for the club. And Brunson has been all the better for it, too.

Through 65 appearances for the Big Apple crew, Brunson is averaging 23.8 points, 6.2 assists and 3.6 rebounds per outing while connecting on 41.1% of his three-point shot attempts.

Despite the win-win situation, though, some small piece of Brunson is still hung up on his former existence as a member of the Dallas Mavericks. Specifically, the 26-year-old feels a certain type of way about the chain of events that led to his departure.

“I can’t say anything bad about Dallas,” Brunson told Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes. “But obviously I wish things would’ve happened differently.”

Knicks’ Jalen Brunson Speaks Out on Failed Extension Talks in Dallas

Brunson — and his father, Knicks assistant Rick Brunson — have made it known that the baller was willing to re-up with the Mavs before last season at a rate far below what he ultimately got from New York. The team just had to be willing to pay him.

Per Haynes, Brunson would have signed on the dotted line at four years and $55 million, the extension he was eligible for under the CBA. Instead, the process dragged out for months and by the time the Mavs actually did engage, Brunson’s financial prospects had changed significantly — and for the better.

“There were two times that I thought we had offers on the table before the season, and then around, I think December or January, they looked the other way,” Brunson said. “They had every right in the world to do so. I don’t blame them for making any business decisions. That’s on them.”

Despite the nickel-and-dime act, Brunson has fond feelings for his time in the Big D and the growth that he made as both a player and a person while he was there.

“At the same time, I respect them,” Brunson told B/R. “They brought me into this league and jump-started my career. Business is business. My four years in Dallas were special… I wanted that role of being with the Mavericks for the long haul of my career. I truly loved that place.”

Knicks Land Tom Thibodeau-Type Player in Mock Draft

As of this writing, the Brunson-less Mavs are in the lottery range of the Western Conference standings (with a record of 36-38). If that position holds and there’s no funny business in the NBA draft lottery, their first-round pick would belong to the Knicks as a result of the Kristaps Porzingis trade.

With that in mind, The Ringer’s March 23 mock draft saw the Knicks taking an All-American with legitimate two-way potential in Kentucky guard Cason Wallace on the back end of the lottery.

Wrote Kevin O’Connor:

Tom Thibodeau wouldn’t be able to contain his smile if Wallace fell to him here. Wallace is an ideal fit next to Jalen Brunson thanks to his defensive ability, spot-up shooting, and feel for secondary creation.

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