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The Dallas Mavericks don’t have “grave concern” about Jalen Brunson joining the New York Knicks this summer despite the franchise hiring his father, Rick Brunson, as an assistant coach, according to NBA insider Marc Stein.
“It has been known throughout the league that [Tom] Thibodeau has wanted Rick Brunson on his staff from the moment he joined the Knicks entering the 2020-21 season and not because it will help New York lure Rick’s son, Jalen Brunson, away from the Mavericks in free agency this summer,” Stein wrote.
Marc Berman of the New York Post reported Thursday that Brunson would be joining Thibodeau’s coaching staff. The elder Brunson had previously served as an assistant under Thibodeau with the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves.
Berman’s report noted that “Rick Brunson told a confidant recently he just wants his son to sign the fairest deal representative of his market value.” So, there’s no guarantee he decides to team up with his father in New York.
Brunson, 25, is set to become an unrestricted free agent after spending the first four seasons in Dallas. The Mavericks selected him in the second round of the 2018 draft.
The Villanova product was solid in his first three seasons in Dallas, but he had a breakout 2021-22 campaign, averaging 16.3 points, 4.8 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game while shooting 50.2 percent from the floor and 37.3 percent from deep.
The point guard’s impressive season helped the Mavericks finish fourth in the Western Conference with a 52-30 record and the team reached the Western Conference Finals, where they fell to the Golden State Warriors.
While a number of teams will likely be interested in Brunson this summer, Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reported this week that there is a “growing sense” around the league that he will return to Dallas
That said, the Knicks are in desperate need of a point guard, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see the team make some sort of run at Brunson. If they fail to sign Brunson, the team could look into other free-agent options.