Pistons, Pacers among teams interested in Jalen Brunson

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Don’t expect much bold talk from the Dallas Mavericks as they enter the second round for the first time in 11 years and face the 64-win (and suddenly full-strength) Phoenix Suns. They are well aware how good the Suns are. Behind the scenes, though, team officials are expressing clear confidence that they will re-sign Jalen Brunson in the offseason. Detroit and Indiana are two teams with considerable cap space known to have interest in signing Brunson this summer. New York’s interest has also been well-chronicled, even though the Knicks will have to make some moves to create sufficient financial flexibility to compete with the offers Brunson is expected to command that could exceed $80 million over four seasons.
Source: Marc Stein @ marcstein.substack.com

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Marc Stein @TheSteinLine
The latest from the NBA’s coaching search grapevine and updates on Jalen Brunson, D’Angelo Russell and the scourge of these playoffs — ugh … injuries — all here in my latest This Week In Basketball column: marcstein.substack.com/p/a-slow-spinn…3:41 PM

Eddie Sefko @ESefko
Here’s what Jalen Brunson and others have to say about his footwork in the paint, which has become his calling card.
mavs.com/brunsons-footw…5:29 PM

Brad Townsend @townbrad
Chris Paul notes that he shared the same agent, Leon Rose, as Brunson’s dad, Rick, and that Rick for two summers worked out Paul. Chris remembers little Jalen Brunson back then and followed his career, took his son Chris to see Villanova and Brunson in the Final Four. – 3:42 PM

Callie Caplan @CallieCaplan
Jalen Brunson, after Mavs’ practice today, on his emotions after Game 6: “I wasn’t trying to get too excited. … Winning the first round is great considering we hadn’t done it in a while, but I mean, it’s just the first round. There’s a lot more basketball to be played.” – 3:17 PM

Duane Rankin @DuaneRankin
“He’s just unlocked, the true JB.” Mikal Bridges on his college teammate, #Mavs guard Jalen Brunson. #Suns pic.twitter.com/HFwwA4hG8F4:37 PM

Tim MacMahon @espn_macmahon
Jalen Brunson rocks the baby on Mavs assistant coach Darrell Armstrong, who is wearing the Chuck Taylors from his rookie season in the NBA. pic.twitter.com/eGahTfSOip2:24 PM

Matt Williams @StatsWilliams
Jalen Brunson this season:
Reg. season points: 1,285 (ranked 40th)
1st round points: 167 (ranked 1st)
He is the first player to lead the 1st round in total points after ranking outside the top-15 in total points in the regular season since Penny Hardaway in 1996-97 (48th). – 10:03 AM

More on this storyline

The Knicks, who could give Brunson the opportunity to be a full-time primary ball handler, need to shed salary to have the flexibility to sign him but could feasibly create $20 million or more in cap space. League sources say the Mavs have no intention of cooperating in potential sign-and-trade scenarios. -via ESPN / April 25, 2022

NBA pro personnel scouts and executives polled by ESPN for this story anticipate that the floor for Brunson’s next contract will be an average annual salary of $20 million. The high end of the estimates range around $25 million per year. -via ESPN / April 25, 2022

The Pistons, according to league sources, see how well Brunson fits with Doncic and envision him similarly enhancing Cade Cunningham, the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft who is also a big-bodied scorer and playmaker. -via ESPN / April 25, 2022