Jalen Brunson headed into the NBA offseason coming off a monumental postseason run to the Western Conference Finals, where he averaged 21.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game on 46.6 percent shooting from the field and 34.7 percent shooting from beyond the arc in 18 games.
.@jalenbrunson1 opens up about leaving Dallas, an organization he thought he’d be with for a long time.— TheOldMan&TheThree (@OldManAndThree) July 22, 2022
Watch the full episode with @jj_redick and @talter: https://t.co/9QtY3JCPjL pic.twitter.com/dj6pAx3NkH
However, Brunson decided he didn’t want to run it back with the Mavs for the 2022-23 season and ended up signing with New York Knicks in June. Many within the Knicks organization and around the NBA expect Brunson to play a significant role in helping the Knicks return to the playoffs after finishing last season with a 37-45 finish.
When Brunson was asked about his free agency process, he told JJ Redick that he didn’t expect to be leaving Dallas “for a long time.” Although the former Villanova Wildcat didn’t imagine departing for New York “at all,” he recalled that being able to “basically double.” the money Dallas offered was “crazy.”
“I loved my time in Dallas,” Bruson said on the Old Man and The Three podcast when asked about his free agency process, “Wanted to be in Dallas; I thought I was going to be In Dallas for a long time. Like you said, I started having a monster season, and I went to them before they officially offered it to me, and by the end, it was already too late.”
“It was like the business came knocking at the door. So it was time to kind of just at least look. I had to do my due diligence and, at least, look and see what was out there. But yeah, honestly, people may not believe, but I talk about my dad, since like Year 1 or 2, so yeah, ‘we’re gonna be here for the rest of my career,’ and that’s what I thought.” Brunson added about leaving Dallas.
The story validates reports of Brunson betting on himself after having a career-best year across the board as he averaged 16.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 4.8 rebounds as the Mavericks (52-30) finished the regular season with the fourth-best record in the Western Conference, advancing to the WCF where they ultamatle lost to the eventual champion Warriors in five games.