Mavericks owner Mark Cuban dismissed allegations that the Knicks tampered in their free agency pursuit of former-Dallas point guard Jalen Brunson, which comes after news that the NBA is investigating New York for potential illicit meddling.
While rival teams were not allowed to speak to free agent players until 6 p.m. ET on June 30, when the free agency period officially began, rumors had swirled prior to that about Brunson’s impending move to Madison Square Garden from multiple NBA insiders.
That kicked off speculation that the Knicks had tampered in the process, and made a handshake deal with the 25-year-old before they were technically allowed to.
The NBA officially began investigating the franchise on Monday, with the potential for monetary fines, executive suspensions and a loss of future draft picks.
Adding to the speculation was the presence of Knicks executives at the Mavericks playoff series in Dallas, which raised eyebrows around the league due to the rumors that they were likely to pursue Brunson.
When asked whether that was inappropriate, and whether he was concerned that the Brunson-to-New-York rumors were so prevalent prior to free agency, Cuban, who bought the Mavericks in 2000, brushed off the concerns, and said it was simply “business.”
“No, they were perfect. I saw nothing wrong, at all. That’s the business,” he said on SiriusXM NBA Radio. “That’s just the way it works.”
For more coverage of Mark Cuban and the NBA, head to amNY.com.
Cuban added that, while he was not personally upset, the NBA’s investigation was out of his hands.
“That’s not my job to determine — that’s up to the NBA,” he said.
In addition to the rumors, and the Knicks front office’s trip to Dallas, the franchise has strong ties to Brunson. His father, Rick, joined the team’s coaching staff earlier in the offseason, and his former agent, Leon Rose, is now the team’s president. Rose’s son, Sam, now helps represent Brunson.
“It is what it is. I wish Jalen the best, he’s a great guy,” said Cuban.
“It would be one thing if I didn’t like him, and I thought he was a jerk. But, he’s really a good, good guy with a heart of gold,” Cuban said. “So, I wish him nothing but the best.”
Brunson officially signed with the Knicks last month on a 4-year contract worth around $104 million.