Jalen Brunson spent only one year under Jason Kidd with the Dallas Mavericks, but it was the best year thus far of the 25-year-old’s career. Brunson opted to sign with the New York Knicks in free agency instead of re-signing with the Mavericks, and while Dallas fans may hold a grudge against the point guard, Kidd couldn’t be happier for him.
Kidd ended his storied career with the Knicks in 2012-13, but like Brunson, he arrived in New York via Dallas. Given that Kidd has a past with the Knicks, he can likely appreciate the fact that for the first time in a long time, New York has a true point guard.
After playing with Luka Doncic for the first four years of his career, Brunson now has the opportunity to prove that he’s capable of leading a team. Not to mention, Brunson’s set to make $27.3 million in 2022-23, which is far more than the $1.8 million that he made in 2021-22 with the Mavericks. The guard had quite the payday in free agency, which is something that Kidd’s happy about.
Kidd was a guest on the ‘ALL THE SMOKE’ podcast with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, where he went into depth about Brunson joining the Knicks. Being a former player himself, Brunson’s contract is something that Kidd can appreciate more than most.
It speaks volumes that Jason Kidd is ‘happy’ about Jalen Brunson’s contract with Knicks
Kidd mentioned that Dallas owner Mark Cuban likely doesn’t feel the same as him, but nonetheless, he only had good thing to say about Brunson’s new contract.
"“The biggest thing is I’m happy he got paid,’’ Kidd said on the “All the Smoke’’ podcast. “He helped us. I know [Mavericks owner Mark] Cuban doesn’t like this, but I love when I can get a player get paid.’’"
In the end, Cuban and Dallas lost Brunson and received nothing in return, so Brunson leaving is likely going to be a sore subject for a while. New York is being investigated by the NBA for tampering, but it’s going to be difficult to to conclude that the Knicks should be docked a draft pick based on Brunson’s pre-existing relationships with key members of the organization.
Kidd expressed that he “wants to put people in the position to be successful.” For Brunson, that involved him averaging a career-high 16.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 4.8 assists with the Mavericks in 2021-22 while shooting 50.2% from the field. From there, the point guard was able to secure a four-year, $104 million contract with New York.
Brunson won’t be suiting up for the Mavericks this season, but that hasn’t stopped Kidd from being happy for him. Now, let’s hope that on Dec. 27, Brunson will be able to lead the Knicks to a win over the Mavericks in Dallas. However, that’s something that Kidd might not be so happy about.