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NBA insider says New York Knicks will get ‘dinged’ for tampering in Jalen Brunson signing

Jason Burgos
new york knicks, jalen brunson
Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

One New York Knicks insider has reported a belief in the NBA that the team is likely to get hit with a penalty for the unique father-son relationships that helped them land Jalen Brunson in free agency last week.

Well before organizations could start talking to players from other teams, and begin tossing around multi-year deals, it looked like Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson taking his talents to New York was already a done deal.

Certainly, backdoor conversations between the Knicks and reps for Brunson must have happened. Something that Knicks beat writer Fred Katz and Mavericks reporter Tim Cato spoke about in a July 4 editorial for The Athletic. Yet, despite reported frustrations in the Mavs organization due to these apparent illegal talks, Cato explained proving tampering by the Knicks could be difficult because of the unique pair of fathers and sons involved in the situation.

Related: Jalen Brunson signs four-year, $104 million contract with New York Knicks

“To what extent can you truly regulate fathers talking to sons? And there are two father-son duos in this equation, with the Brunsons and the Roses. Sam Rose is Leon’s son, and he is Brunson’s day-to-day agent with CAA, although Aaron Mintz was the primary negotiator during contract talks,” Cato wrote.

New York Knicks expected to be hit with tampering penalties

new york knicks, jalen brunson
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks hired Jalen Brunson’s father Rick as an assistant last month. A move many viewed as an attempt to curry more favor with the impending restricted free agent.

In response, Katz revealed that some in the league believe the Knicks will be penalized for what seems like obvious backdoor dealings, and then their initiative to clear up cap space based on what seems like clear assurances that Brunson was bound for New York.

“People I talk to around the league expect the Knicks to get dinged for tampering. They started dumping salary for Brunson on draft night. They continued their offloading five days later, 48 hours before free agency even began,” Katz wrote. “They had let go of almost $33 million by the time they could talk to Brunson. You reported two days before free agency that he was heading to New York. If this turns into a sign-and-trade, maybe that gives the league a “no hard feelings” vibe, but for now, the expectation is that something will happen here.”

Brunson officially signed his four-year, $104 million dollar contract with the Knicks on July 1. A day after NBA free agency officially started.