2. Jalen Brunson
Leon Rose and the Knicks accomplished their mission of luring Jalen Brunson away from the Dallas Mavericks this summer to sign him in free agency. The 25-year-old signed a four-year, $104 million contract, which has led to the debate of if he was overpaid or not. There seems to be a consensus that he was overpaid, but that point doesn’t hold much weight.
Brunson spent his first four years in the league under Luka Doncic’s shadow, but he’s coming off his best season yet. He averaged 16.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 4.8 assists while shooting 50.2% from the field and 37.3% from the three-point line this past season for the Mavericks. And in the three games that Doncic didn’t play in during the first round of the playoffs against the Jazz, Brunson shined.
Jalen Brunson will have the opportunity to help lead the Knicks back to the playoffs
There have been comments made about how New York paid “that much money” to a player that hasn’t been named an All-Star. However, given how he’s improved each season and his age, Brunson could end up earning every penny of his contract. He’s set to be the 14th-highest paid point guard in the league in 2022-23, but you’d think that he was making more than Steph Curry based on what’s been said.
The best thing about Brunson is that he keeps his head down and goes to work, which is how he went from making $1.8 million in 2021-22 to $27.7 million in 2022-23.
Brunson’s from New Jersey and grew up around the Knicks, so he’ll have a prime opportunity to silence his doubters as he embarks on the next step of his career in New York.