The New York Knicks achieved what they were hoping to in free agency, which was to sign point guard Jalen Brunson. The 25-year-old didn’t hold a meeting with his former team the Dallas Mavericks before agreeing to a deal with New York, and the jury is still out on if the Knicks are going to get hit with a tampering charge.
New York has long been in search of a point guard, which is what makes the Brunson signing that much more important. After watching Alec Burks run the offense for the majority of last season, it’s going to be completely different for the Knicks this upcoming season. And things will be even more different if the team can trade for Donovan Mitchell.
After a dismal 2021-22 season, there’s a lot to be hopeful about as a fan, starting with Brunson. However, some believe that the point guard was “overpaid” and that he isn’t going to change the Knicks’ trajectory.
Bleacher Report gives the Knicks a ‘C’ for the Jalen Brunson free agency signing
Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley wrote a piece grading New York’s biggest offseason moves (signing Brunson, re-signing Mitchell Robinson, and signing Isaiah Hartenstein). Out of the three, the Brunson signing received the lowest grade.
Buckley started by writing that Brunson’s “production doesn’t match up with his pay rate.” That’s a common talking point that’s been floating around on social media since the Knicks inked the point guard to a four-year, $104 million deal.
In 2022-23, Brunson’s going to be the 14th-highest paid point guard as he’ll be making $27.7 million. He’s still young and has improved every year since he was drafted in 2018. If you feel as if he was overpaid, that’s your opinion, but New York didn’t drastically overpay Brunson.
Here’s what else Buckley had to say about the signing:
"It isn’t the worst gamble. Brunson is a three-point sniper (career 37.3 percent) and a slick scorer in the post. He competes defensively, and his playmaking should perk up in an offense that isn’t dominated by Luka Doncic.Is Brunson worth all of that money, though? That’s debatable. He struggles getting to the line, doesn’t stripe many off-the-bounce threes and is more of a combo guard than a floor general, which isn’t ideal for a 6’1″ player."
The Knicks signing Brunson definitely wasn’t “the worst gamble.” There’s reason to believe that if he didn’t sign with New York that the move wouldn’t be scrutinized in the way that it has been. However, Brunson isn’t worried about the outside chatter in regards to his contract.
In a year or two, we’ll revisit Bleacher Report’s ‘C’ grade. Hopefully, it’ll be erased and changed to an ‘A.’