Mavericks look even worse for fumbling Jalen Brunson after latest shocking revelation

The Mavericks gave the Knicks the gift of Jalen Brunson.

New York Knicks, Jalen Brunson
New York Knicks, Jalen Brunson / Tim Heitman/GettyImages
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The Mavericks and New York Knicks swapping players is nothing new. There's Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway, and Reggie Bullock, to name a few. None of those players, not even Porzingis, compares to the gift the Mavericks gave the Knicks.

Dallas drafted a hidden gem in 2018. That's the year Luka Doncic was selected, but he was drafted by the Hawks at No. 3 and traded to the Mavericks. He was a gem, but not a hidden one. With the No. 33 pick, Dallas drafted a guard out of Villanova. A guard who had led the Wildcats to two NCAA titles. A guard who was a soon-to-be All-Star.

The Mavericks had Jalen Brunson for four years. Luckily for the Knicks, it should've been longer, but it wasn't. Dallas had its chance to sign Brunson to an extension at a fraction of what New York got him for, but declined to extend him on two separate occasions.

Brunson was recently a guest on the "All The Smoke" podcast (the full episode will drop on Feb. 22) with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson. The star guard detailed the situation that led him to the Knicks in free agency.

Mavericks refused to sign current Knicks star Jalen Brunson to an extension

Brunson's said before that he wanted to stay in Dallas and was willing to sign a four-year, $55 million extension. That's nothing new, but what is new is Brunson revealing just how many chances the Mavericks had to keep him. When he saw that the Knicks were making moves, Brunson began to think about what it'd like to play in New York.

Dallas could've signed Brunson to an extension before the 2021-22 season. Dallas could've signed Brunson to an extension midway through the 2021-22 season. Dallas had a shot at re-signing Brunson in 2022 free agency. Imagine having that many chances to keep Brunson but not doing so.

Mark Cuban has tried to defend the Mavericks (subscription required) by blaming Rick Brunson (Jalen's father) for the guard leaving Dallas. New York hired Brunson as an assistant coach a month before the team signed his son to a four-year, $104 million deal. Cuban claimed that not only did Brunson's father not want him to stay, but that Brunson himself didn't want to stay, either.

"We didn’t know what number to bid for,” Cuban said. “The guy did not want to stay. His dad did not want him to stay."

Mark Cuban, via The Athletic

Cuban acting like Dallas never had a shot at keeping Brunson is comical. It was no secret that New York wanted Brunson, but the Knicks were only able to get him because the Mavericks let them.

Brunson isn't someone who has a desire to be in the spotlight. It's not like he wanted to go to New York to save the Knicks. If he's said he wanted to stay in Dallas (and he has several times), there's no reason to think any different.

Thank goodness he didn't, though. And, hey, thanks again for fumbling Brunson, Dallas!

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