Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson is in the middle of a well-timed playoff breakthrough ahead of free agency, but the only NBA team he has ever known reportedly plans on keeping him.
Marc Berman of the New York Post cited a source who spoke to Mavericks governor Mark Cuban and said he would be “shocked” if Dallas didn’t re-sign the Villanova product.
This is just the latest evidence the Mavericks are going to do what they can to keep Brunson in the fold.
Tim MacMahon of ESPN reported they have “no intention of cooperating in potential sign-and-trade scenarios” while also explaining they have the guard’s Bird rights that would allow them to offer him a five-year deal compared to four-year ones other teams can offer.
A significant raise is surely in order considering he is making $1.8 million this season. MacMahon noted scouts and executives believe he could make up to $25 million annually with his next deal.
Yet Brunson isn’t thinking about the upcoming payday and is instead focused on the postseason.
“Not at all. Not at all. I promise you,” he said. “My dad, we’ll joke about it, but [my family knows] that I don’t want to talk about it until the season’s over. That’s really not going to help me right now. … I know it’s a weird situation. People don’t believe that I don’t talk about it, but it’s not a topic of conversation until I guess we get there.”
Focusing on basketball has worked out well these playoffs.
He carried Dallas when Luka Doncic was sidelined for some of its first-round series against the Utah Jazz with 41 and 31 points in back-to-back showings in Games 2 and 3. The Mavericks won both of those games after dropping the opener, which cleared the way for Doncic to return and help clinch the series.
Brunson is averaging 23.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.9 assists through 10 playoff games to this point and has played important defense on Chris Paul at times in the second round.
If he can continue playing at such a high level and the Mavericks advance past the top-seeded Phoenix Suns after splitting the first four contests, an even bigger contract may be ahead this offseason