Reports Emerge on Potential Jalen Brunson Max Contract Extension

Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson may have his mind focused on the impending run to the NBA Finals, but the franchise is reportedly gearing up for a big negotiation this offseason
New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11)
New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) / Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks will aim to lock down franchise point guard Jalen Brunson with a max contract extension this summer, according to an NBA source. 

In the midst of his incredible run over the last month of the regular season, which includes averaging 35.1 points per game to lead New York into playoff contention in the Eastern Conference, the Knicks have seen enough to know that they have the ideal player for the next phases of their future and are ready to commit long beyond the 2023-24 season. 

Once the postseason has wrapped up, the team is eager to ink Brunson to an extension of his current deal that still carries two years and $25 million per and that holds a player option after the 2024-25 season. There is always the chance a spoiled postseason run changes their tune, but the Knicks could hand their eligible man a four-year, $160 million extension and retain their first key piece at a cheaper price than waiting till he hits the free agent market. 

However, that’s where things could get sticky for Brunson in mulling any extended partnership with the Knicks, because as one source stated, he could elect to hold still and make a momentous “$100 million decision.”

“They’re gonna try to max him out as soon as they can this summer,” the league source told Heavy Sports. “He has a $100 million decision coming. Sign now for $150 million or wait and sign for $250 million. It is a nice problem to have but it is not a slam-dunk which way he’ll go.”

If Brunson elects to remain on his present contract until his player option hits in 2025, he could haul in a five-year agreement in the area of $260 million which is a number that could play into the Knicks’ flexibility for strengthening their roster in their quest for an NBA title. Nonetheless, Brunson’s first two years in the Big Apple have proven he would be worth either investment. 

In 80 games this season, Brunson is averaging 28.6 points, 6.7 assists and is shooting 48.1% from field goal range and 40.2% from beyond the three-point line. He has scored more than 30 points in eight of the last 10 contests, surpassed 40 points in nine games and was on the cusp of breaking the Knicks’ single season scoring record with his 61-point bout against San Antonio on March 29th. 

The Knicks are entering the playoffs with one of the hottest shooting units in the entire league, kudos to the shooting and dishing prowess of Brunson that has unlocked the hidden talents of his fellow teammates. They currently hold the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference and will have a great chance to make it to the conference finals, presumably against the Boston Celtics, behind the heroics of their All-NBA caliber guard. 

There will be a lot of hard work required to get to that point and to the negotiating table this offseason with Leon Rose and the front office. A lot can develop between now and then, which is why Brunson is keeping his focus on helping the Knicks break past the second round after a tough fall from grace last season, and not how much extra money he wants to add to his name. 

“I mean, obviously that’s a thing that you want to have, security,” Brunson said. “But I’m just focusing on finishing the season, doing the best we can to make sure everyone’s back healthy and just doing my part. That’s at the forefront of my mind and I’ll worry about that stuff later.”

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