Luka Doncic reveals moment he knew Knicks star Jalen Brunson was destined for more

Luka Doncic and Jalen Brunson spent four years together in Dallas.
New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks, Jalen Brunson, Luka Doncic
New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks, Jalen Brunson, Luka Doncic / Tom Pennington/GettyImages

Luka Doncic and Jalen Brunson go way back, as in way back to 2018 when the Dallas Mavericks drafted them. Doncic was the No. 3 pick, while Brunson's name wasn't announced until 30 picks later at No. 33. Nobody (except maybe Brunson and his family) knew then that the Mavericks actually drafted two stars.

Luckily for the New York Knicks, the Mavericks let Brunson slip through their fingers. The point guard was willing to sign a four-year, $55 million extension with Dallas, but one wasn't offered. He signed a four-year, $104 million deal with New York in free agency, a contract that quickly became a steal for the Knicks.

Brunson has defied every last one of his haters in the past year and a half that he's been in New York. He's a first-time All-Star (he should've been a starter) and is on his way to making his first All-NBA team. The next contract he signs will reflect the hard work that he's put in throughout his NBA career. It all began in Texas.

Doncic was a recent guest on JJ Redick's Old Man and the Three podcast. Of course, he and Redick talked about Brunson's ascension. When the former NBA sharpshooter asked Doncic if he knew Brunson would be this good, Doncic said yes.

Luka Doncic says he knew Jalen Brunson was going to be as good as he's been for Knicks

More attention should've been paid to Brunson's last playoff run in Dallas. He averaged 21.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game, shooting 46.6% from the floor.

Doncic looked back on Game 2 when he was sidelined for the second straight contest with a strained right calf. With Utah up 1-0, Brunson dropped a career-high 41 points (15-of-25 from the field), eight rebounds, five assists, and two turnovers in 42 minutes for the 110-104 win.

As Doncic said on the podcast, it would've been hard for the Mavericks to climb out of an 0-2 hole with Games 3 and 4 in Utah. In large part because of Brunson, Dallas won the series 4-2.

At that point, Doncic and Brunson were at the tail end of their fourth season together, so it's not as if Doncic was stunned to see Brunson play that well. He said that Brunson's work ethic stood out to him from when they were drafted in 2018. Doncic added that it was "amazing" to play with Brunson.

We don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves here, but Luka could be one of the superstars the Knicks are monitoring. After missing the Play-In Tournament last year, Dallas sits at No. 8 in the West. Who knows how another missed playoff appearance or early exit could affect Doncic? He signed a $207 million contract extension and will be eligible to sign another in 2025.

Even if Doncic were to request a trade, Knicks fans can bet that Mark Cuban will do everything in his power to ensure the star doesn't end up in New York. Who could blame him? He's already been forced to watch a homegrown star the Mavericks could've kept elevate the Knicks to a status they haven't reached in decades. The last thing he should want is to see Doncic and Brunson team up in NYC, but wouldn't that be fun?