The New York Knicks wasted little time getting their top free-agent target — doing so an hour before free agency started on Thursday evening — as they reportedly intend to sign point guard Jalen Brunson to a 4-year contract worth approximately $110 million, per Shams Charania.
Team president Leon Rose had worked furiously over the last week to ensure his team had enough cap space to offer the former Dallas Maverick the big deal, clearing the contracts of Kemba Walker, Alec Burks, and Nerlens Noel in trades to the Detroit Pistons.
Reports indicated that despite the Knicks lining up for a strong pursuit, Brunson was going to schedule meetings with the Mavericks and Miami Heat on Thursday. However, those meetings didn’t happen as it appears the allure of Madison Square Garden was too strong.
Brunson parlayed a career year at the perfect time to pique New York’s interest, putting up 16.3 points and 4.8 assists per game for a Dallas Mavericks team anchored by Luka Doncic. This after he turned down a four-year, $55.5 million extension from Dallas last offseason.
Now he’s set to make nearly double the cash in New York.
For New York, the hope is that they’ve found a franchise point guard to rely on for the foreseeable future in the 25-year-old New Brunswick, NJ native. The franchise has been starving for a consistent floor general for decades now.
He joins a backcourt that has some options at the 2, whether the team wants to continue rolling with veteran Evan Fournier — who underwhelmed during the first year of his 4-year, $73 million deal last season — give Immanuel Quickley an expanded role in his third professional season, or look elsewhere.
The Knicks heavily pursued Purdue product Jaden Ivey leading up to and at the 2022 NBA Draft, offering two separate deals to the Pistons, who took him fifth overall.