Mark Cuban on Jalen Brunson's Future: 'I Think He Wants to Stay' with Mavericks

Adam WellsMay 27, 2022

DALLAS, TX - MAY 24: Jalen Brunson #13 of the Dallas Mavericks warms up before the game against the Golden State Warriors during Game 4 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Finals on May 24, 2022 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Cooper Neill/NBAE via Getty Images)
Cooper Neill/NBAE via Getty Images

Coming off a breakout season as he prepares to hit free agency, Jalen Brunson figures to attract a lot of attention if he wants to test the waters.

Speaking to NBA reporter Marc Stein, Dallas Mavericks governor Mark Cuban noted the Mavericks can pay him more than another team, and he thinks Brunson "wants to stay."

Bally Sports Southwest @BallySportsSW

"We can pay him more than anybody...I think he wants to stay and that's most important."<a href="https://twitter.com/mcuban?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@mcuban</a> talks to <a href="https://twitter.com/TheSteinLine?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TheSteinLine</a> about the Mavericks chances of re-signing <a href="https://twitter.com/jalenbrunson1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@jalenbrunson1</a> this offseason. <a href="https://t.co/FnOV9LTagO">pic.twitter.com/FnOV9LTagO</a>

The Mavs could have signed Brunson to a four-year extension worth up to $55.5 million before the start of this season, but ESPN's Tim MacMahon reported in April the team never made that offer "nor did they engage in negotiations with Brunson’s representatives."

According to MacMahon, the Mavericks did make Brunson an offer immediately after the trade deadline for the same terms as Dorian Finney-Smith received when he signed his deal on Feb. 12 (four years, $55.6 million). 

Rick Brunson, Jalen's father, told MacMahon that Dallas missed its window to re-sign his son. 

"I told the Mavericks, 'Once the season is started, there's no contract talk,' and I went back against my word," Rick said. "In January, I thought he did enough where he deserved [the extension]. I said, 'Hey, take the money, man.' He wants security. He wants to live here. And they declined. He didn't turn s--t down. Y'all declined first. When y'all came back to him, we said, 'Hey, we just want to finish out the season and go from there.'"

An extension for Brunson will certainly cost the Mavericks a lot more than it would have as recently as January. 

MacMahon noted a poll of scouts and executives estimated the floor for Brunson's new contract will be $20 million per season, with some projecting a deal could go as high as $25 million annually. 

Dallas does have the ability to offer Brunson a five-year deal; other teams will only be able to offer him a four-year contract. 

The 2022-23 season marks the first year of Luka Doncic's supermax extension and his salary jumps up to $36.6 million. He only made $10.1 million this season, the final year of his rookie contract. 

The Mavericks are already projected to be in the luxury tax with $151.55 million in salary commitments next season. 

Brunson averaged a career-high 16.3 points and 4.8 assists per game in 79 appearances during the 2021-22 regular season. The Villanova alum has shot over 50 percent from the field in each of the past two seasons and is a 37.3 percent shooter from three-point range over his career. 

Dallas lost to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals in five games, but the team won a playoff series this season for the first time since winning the 2011 NBA title.