NBA Rumors: Mavs Tried to Trade Jalen Brunson, Picks to Draft Tyrese HaliburtonApril 25, 2022
Jalen Brunson has become a key player for the Dallas Mavericks during the playoffs, but they tried to trade him two years ago to get Tyrese Haliburton in the 2020 NBA draft, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN.
The Mavericks "aggressively tried to trade up" but found no takers for their offer of Brunson and picks No. 18 and No. 31 overall, per MacMahon.
Haliburton went 12th to the Sacramento Kings, while the Mavericks selected Josh Green with the 18th pick.
The Indiana Pacers acquired Haliburton in a midseason trade that sent Domantas Sabonis to the Kings, but the guard has lived up to expectations since the draft. He averaged 17.5 points and 9.6 assists per game after the move to Indiana, while his 10.5 career win shares lead all players from the 2020 draft class, per Basketball Reference.
Dallas is still probably happy it held on to Brunson, who has taken a significant leap over the past two years.
The guard finished fourth in Sixth Man of the Year voting last season and averaged 16.3 points, 4.8 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game in 2021-22. He has stood out in the playoffs with an average of 29.8 points across four games, including a 41-point effort in a Game 2 win with Luka Doncic injured.
Dallas heads into Monday tied 2-2 with the Utah Jazz in the first-round series, but the team might've already been eliminated without Brunson's heroics.
The question for the Mavericks is if they can keep the 25-year-old when he hits free agency in the offseason.
As far as the 2020 draft, the team would have been in even better shape if it kept Brunson and used the 18th pick on Tyrese Maxey, Saddiq Bey or Desmond Bane.