With Luka Doncic missing 15 games this season so far, Jalen Brunson has been instrumental in managing the offense for Jason Kidd and the Dallas Mavericks. Along with his offensive production, Brunson also has the tough, fierce defensive intensity that Kidd’s system needs. In his fourth year in the conference, Brunson is in the middle of a career year as he needs to get a contract extension in the offseason.
Brunson is a career-best average in points, rebounds, assists and steals. Any NBA fan would already know of his scoring abilities, but he’s become a tremendous playmaker averaging 5.7 assists per game. As he and Dorian Finney-Smith are due for extensions, Dallas could be forced into the luxury tax if they keep the two individuals. However, one rumored destination for Brunson is the New York Knicks, and he would be a perfect fit for that organization.
Jalen Brunson Knicks in form
Signing Kemba Walker instead of Elfrid Payton gave them a better scoring option, but it also meant they would lead their offense with a point guard first. There have been a ton of issues stemming from their attacking sets this year and adding Brunson to the mix could alleviate some issues. Even their other animators in Alec Burks, Evan Fournier or RJ Barrett are struggling.
Brunson could become a reliable starting goaltender under coach Tom Thibodeau because he’ll be able to put their key pieces in specific spots to use their talent. For example, Julius Randle should no longer receive a ball when he was too far from the basket, but Brunson could instead feed him more on the low block. Additionally, Fournier and Barrett may have more open opportunities as Brunson would be more active as a playmaker.
Better ground spacing
With Fournier, Barrett, Randle and Immanuel Quickley all struggling from long range, the addition of Brunson forces defenses to view him as a legitimate threat as well. Ironically, he struggled to behind the arc this season at 33.6% on a conversion per game. On the other hand, Brunson has proven to be an outstanding outside shooter as he totaled 40.5% on three-point shots last year.
Not just because of Brunson’s own shooting prowess, but his ability to constantly attack the rim and force defenses to react will be instrumental in Thibodeau’s plans. Jalen Brunson is a very efficient player converting 50% of his field goals and spitting the stone only 1.6 times per game. With those numbers, Brunson would be able to maximize the Knicks’ possessions and give them more attempts to put up better performances.
Scorer, creator of shots in clutch situations
Even when they were the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference last season, one of the Knicks’ glaring weaknesses was their limited fourth-quarter options. Brunson has the track record to prove that he does not bend under pressure as he welcomes even high intensity situations for him to show his talent.
Brunson has a multitude of moves in his arsenal such as a pull-up pull-up, three set shots or even just attacking the rim to create offense. There are certain times when the Knicks offense simply becomes stagnant and dependent on Randle’s post moves. These plays aren’t a recipe for success, but Brunson gives them another viable option on the attacking side of the court.
As the trade deadline approaches, the Knicks are one of the teams that desperately need any movement to bolster their current position. It won’t be difficult for their front office to negotiate some deals as well as they have many mobile contracts. With the many role players on the Knicks’ roster, they still need to prioritize eliminating some of them in order to acquire a talented guard like Jalen Brunson and hopefully sign him for an extension as well. .