Jalen Brunson officially signs with the New York Knicks. We know this because ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that he agreed to the terms Four-year, $104 million deal. The last few days have been strange to say the least as information has gradually leaked out and stories have changed during the process.
At this point, it’s difficult to see how there were no obvious manipulations in the process of signing Jalen Brunson. The sheer volume of reports and information reporters have been able to confirm suggests a deal was finalized well before free agency began, which is currently not allowed under NBA rules. The NBA might be looking the other way with some minor rules, but everyone in the basketball world knew that deal was done Wednesday morning, if not sooner. It was everywhere from Tim Cato to Tim MacMahon.
Which, of course, led to the counter-reports. Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reported a story that said there would be meetings with Brunson and both teams and oh btw, the Heat could be involved. The heat quickly denied such interests or meetings. Then Brunson’s People canceled the meeting they had scheduled as a means of distracting attention from rule-breaking and thereby confirming a significant rule-breaking. It got so silly that two and a half hours before the official #WojBomb, Wojnarowski shared this:
Free agent guard Jalen Brunson, armed with a five-year offer from the Mavericks and more than $106 million, is headed to a meeting with the New York Knicks within the hour, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2022
Only Brunson seemed to have an offer from the Mavericks? They claim it was never officially offered. Shams Charania reports that the Mavericks hadn’t made an offer. Mark Stein also confirmed that Dallas has not made an official offer. It became a circus that was no fun.
It is worth noting that all those involved from the Knicks side, including Jalen Brunson, Leon Rose, Adrian Wojnarowski and others, have direct ties to agency CAA. Strange things happen with any courtship for free agents, Brunson may have chosen the Knicks a long time ago, and yet there’s something about New York’s fairly blatant disregard for the rules that even other teams found off-putting, at least according to Fred Katz from the Athletic on the Mavs Moneyball Podcast.
Right now I’m just really disappointed. Not with one person like I usually am. In fact, the whole thing stinks. There have been leaks from Brunson’s camp that he wanted even more opportunities, and situations that have the slightest bit of jealousy ultimately sadden me a bit. We were led to believe the vibes were pristine and later found out they might not just have been a tainted element of last season.
Ultimately, Brunson must do what is best for him. While we’ll surely come back to the fact that Dallas clearly overpriced Brunson, all reports also seem to indicate that the Knicks were an easy pick for him.
I know I will miss his constant presence. It’s funny…longtime readers and listeners of our podcasts know that I gave Brunson an unfair amount of blame for his decision-making. A friend told me for almost two years that Brunson couldn’t play Make but was told by Rick Carlisle that his role was to score goals. And what do you know, under Jason Kidd, Brunson made a leap that we could all see in real time. His performances in the Utah Series and against the Suns will stay with me for the rest of my days. He’s a special player and it just stinks that it had to end with this level of weird feeling and timing Source reports making it hard to know what really happened here.
Moving on with Jalen Brunson, we will miss seeing you play.