While a lot of recent NBA headlines involving the New York Knicks focus on their pursuit of trading for Utah Jazz All-Star Donovan Mitchell, they have already made one significant upgrade to their roster this offseason. After years of the point guard position being a revolving door, New York has finally found an answer.
In free agency, the Knicks signed Jalen Brunson to a four-year deal worth $104 million. Many people were surprised that Brunson left the Dallas Mavericks, where he had spent the first four seasons of his NBA career. Dallas was reportedly willing to do whatever it took to keep him monetarily, but at the end of the day, New York is where he wanted to be.
There were some things that the Mavericks and other teams around the league just couldn’t provide Brunson, such as the family atmosphere. His father, Rick Brunson, is an assistant coach on Tom Thibodeau’s staff and Leon Rose, the team’s president of basketball operations, is Jalen’s godfather. Rose was also his agent that negotiated the deal which enabled him to become an unrestricted free agent this summer instead of a restricted one before joining the Knicks’ front office.
There is a lot to like about the signing for the orange and blue. Brunson was the second-best player on a Mavericks team that went to the Western Conference Finals, so he will bring an infusion of talent. Desperate for a lead guard that can get the team in order late in games and run the offense, the Knicks are going to be very happy about what Brunson brings to the table.
If there is one issue that the team will have to overcome it is his lack of size. Brunson isn’t the biggest player, which will sometimes lead to difficulties on defense. However, Thibodeau is confident that he can get the most out of Brunson on
“Thibodeau has not spoken to the press, incredibly, since the April 10 season finale, but according to a source, the Knicks coach is ecstatic about Brunson’s arrival. He thinks he can turn Brunson from “a B-minus player to a B-plus player.’’ The key is teaching him to become a sharper defender despite being undersized.”
Brunson is always ready to play and will compete despite sometimes facing a size difference. He is a very strong player and while he may be undersized, you don’t have to worry about his effort level as he gives 100 percent every night.
That willingness to work will also help him develop in the manner that Thibodeau believes that he can. With some tweaks to his fundamentals, Brunson can take that next step and reach the level Thibodeau believes him capable of attaining.
For the latest surrounding the New York Knicks, check out our NBA news and trade
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