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Mavericks unruffled by Jalen Brunson, Knicks tampering inquiry

James Foglio profile picture
Updated 2 months ago on

3 min read

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Mavericks unruffled by Jalen Brunson, Knicks tampering inquiry
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Dallas Mavericks G.M. Nico Harrison was asked about the league’s ongoing tampering investigation involving Jalen Brunson and the New York Knicks. The NBA executive is unfazed.

“I’m not worried about it,” explained Harrison. “Honestly for me, it’s not even worth even thinking about because we’re so focused on our team. It really doesn’t matter after the fact what they do anyway, right?”

The Knicks are being investigated by the league to determine whether or not they made contact with Brunson before the start of free agency.

According to a few NBA betting sites, the Mavericks have top-10 odds to win the championship in 2023. Will they return to the Western Conference Finals this season? Some sportsbooks are expecting it.

Teams weren’t allowed to negotiate a contract with a player or agent prior to 6 p.m. ET on June 30. That same evening, Brunson signed a four-year, $104 million contract with the Knicks. His deal includes a $24,960,001 player option for the 2025-26 season and a 15% trade bonus.

During the offseason, the Rockets traded Christian Wood to the Mavericks for Boban Marjanovic, Sterling Brown, Marquese Chriss, and Wendall Moore Jr.

Then, Moore Jr. was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves. In July, former Phoenix Suns center JaVale McGee signed a three-year, $17.2 million contract with Dallas.

Mavericks not worried by Jalen Brunson, Knicks tampering investigation

While the Mavs have Josh Green, Luka Doncic, Jaden Hardy, Frank Ntilikina, and Spencer Dinwiddie, fans believe the backcourt will struggle to fill the void. Doncic can only carry the team for so long.

“I’m not really worried about us having a third ball handler,” said Harrison on 96.7 The Ticket. “Before we got Spencer, we were rolling, and it was just the two ball-handlers, if you will. The magic for us happened before the trade.”

In September, the Mavericks could have traded for then-Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell. However, Jazz executive Danny Ainge figured the Cleveland Cavaliers offered the best trade package. So, the Mavericks front office missed the mark on that opportunity.

Pertaining to the Knicks’ tampering case, team president Leon Rose is a former agent of Brunson. And Jalen’s father, Rick Brunson, serves as an assistant coach with New York.

Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau had Rick on his staff while coaching the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves. Their relationship adds weight to the inquiry.

William Wesley, the Knicks executive vice president, watched Brunson play in the Mavericks’ first round playoff series against the Utah Jazz. He was spotted sitting courtside at the American Airlines Center during Game 1.

Furthermore, on draft night, Rose and G.M. Scott Perry made moves to clear cap space. They traded Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel to the Detroit Pistons. Plus, Kemba Walker and Jalen Duren were dealt to the Pistons as well.

Of course, the NBA is also investigating the Philadelphia 76ers to determine if tampering occurred with the re-signing of James Harden and the additions of P.J. Tucker and Danuel House Jr.

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James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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