Jalen Brunson reportedly considering massive $100M sacrifice to help New York Knicks’ future

Jallen Brunson, New York Knicks news
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson is signed to one of the best contracts in the NBA, making just $26 million per season when many of his peers are earning at least $40 million annually. While a contract extension will catapult Brunson up the highest-paid NBA players list, he might do the team another favor.

Brunson to New York felt inevitable in free agency before the summer of 2022. A return to the Dallas Mavericks was off the table and the Knicks positioned themselves perfectly to land Brunson. He would get to be the lead guard in Madison Square Garden and the Knicks front office hoped the contract proved to be a bargain.

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  • Jalen Brunson stats (2023-’24): 28.7 PPG, 6.7 APG, 3.6 RPG, 47.9% FG, 40.1% 3PT, .198 WS/48

Since putting on a Knicks’ uniform, Brunson has emerged as an All-Star. The 27-year-old point guard earned an All-NBA Second Team selection this past season, making it on the same list of players making $50 million per year. With a player option on the table for 2025, Brunson could cash in very soon on a new deal. If he’s patient, Brunson could get $50-plus million AAV contract offers in NBA free agency next summer.

However, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic, Brunson is contemplating whether or not to sign a max extension with the Knicks this summer. If the All-Star guard signs a new deal, it would be worth $156.5 million over four years ($39.125 million AAV).

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If Brunson waits until next summer, he will become eligible for a five-year contract worth $269.1 million with an average annual value of $53.82 million. Instead, he is seriously considering taking the current max extension and leaving $113 million off the table.

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“A league source says it’s one reason he’s considering taking the cheaper extension, which could help the Knicks avoid the second apron in the immediate future, giving the franchise a better chance to win its first championship since 1973.”

Fred Katz on Jalen Brunson potentially signign a team-friendly contract extension with New York Knicks

While LeBron James received credit for taking $3 million less on his new contract to help the Los Angeles Lakers, Brunson would be saving the Knicks over $100 million. Staying under the second apron would also allow New York to keep making other moves to improve the roster in the future.

The other motivation for Brunson, per Katz, is that the Knicks’ point guard loves New York and has zero interest in playing elsewhere. In an era where a majority of players seek to maximize their financial earning power, Brunson seems prepared to turn down $113 million to help the Knicks win a championship.

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