One of Jalen Brunson's most significant career decisions is looming with Knicks

Friday will be a big day.
New York Knicks, Jalen Brunson
New York Knicks, Jalen Brunson / Elsa/GettyImages

Friday is an important day for the New York Knicks. It's an important day for Jalen Brunson. The star point guard will officially be eligible to sign an extension, but the question is, will he do so? Or will he wait to sign a significantly larger deal next summer as a free agent?

Brunson is a humble guy. He's shined in the New York spotlight but still shies away from attention. He never praises himself but always throws an assist (sometimes literally) to his teammates.

It's not uncommon for NBA stars to take pay cuts that benefit their team, but it is unusual to take a pay cut that leaves $113 million guaranteed on the table. The most the Knicks can offer Brunson this summer is a four-year deal worth $156.5 million. In 2025, he could sign a five-year deal worth $269.1 million.

In late May, Newsday's Steve Popper reported that "all indications" were that Brunson would sign an extension this summer (subscription required). On Monday, The Athletic's Fred Katz reported (subscription required) that "signing the extension is still under consideration." There's a genuine chance that Brunson and the Knicks will agree to an extension on Friday.

Jalen Brunson will be eligible to sign Knicks extension on Friday

Katz expertly explained why Brunson is incentivized to take less money this summer. A four-year deal with a player option would mean he could be a free agent in 2028, after his 10th NBA season. He'd then be eligible to sign a supermax deal worth 35% of the cap. The timing lines up perfectly.

Brunson could sign an extension this summer with the goal of taking the above route, but that doesn't mean he'd be doing the Knicks any less of a favor. He'd help New York better navigate the harsh penalties of the collective bargaining agreement's first and second tax aprons. Financial flexibility is more important than ever.

If Brunson agrees to an extension on Friday, a statue of him will be outside of Madison Square Garden one minute after Woj hits send on his tweet. Did someone say King of New York?

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