Jalen Brunson is going to secure a hefty new contract this summer, though there was little doubt about that following his impressive 2021-22 campaign.
The Dallas Mavericks point guard is in line to receive a contract that "meets or even exceeds" the four-year, $85 million deal Fred VanVleet signed with the Toronto Raptors in 2020, according to NBA insider Marc Stein.
While Brunson is expected to draw interest from several teams this summer, Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer reported there is a belief around the league that he will return to Dallas on an extension.
That said, there have been rumblings about Brunson possibly joining the New York Knicks after they hired his father, Rick Brunson, as an assistant coach under Tom Thibodeau. However, Stein reported that the Mavericks don't have "grave concern" about the younger Brunson possibly heading to New York.
In addition, The Athletic's Tim Cato reported earlier this week that the Mavericks intend to extend Brunson, who is supposedly open to remaining in Dallas.
"I've been told there's mutual interest on both sides to re-sign him," Cato wrote, "and Mark Cuban told Bally Sports the Mavericks can offer him more money than anyone else. It's a statement that indicates intent."
Regardless of where Brunson signs, he won't come cheap. League executives reportedly believe he'll receive a contract worth between $20-25 million per year, according to ESPN's Tim MacMahon.
The maximum amount the Mavericks can offer Brunson is $175.5 million over five years, according to Spotrac. That equates to $35.1 million per year, which would put him in a range that includes Ben Simmons ($35.4 million per year), Luka Doncic ($36.6 million per year) and Trae Young ($36.6 million per year).
It's hard to imagine the Mavericks would pay Brunson that much, so it's no surprise that Stein reported he's expected to receive a deal similar to what VanVleet signed in Toronto.
The Mavericks selected Brunson in the second round of the 2018 NBA draft. He was solid during the first three years of his career but experienced a breakout 2021-22 campaign, averaging 16.3 points, 4.8 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game while shooting 50.2 percent from the floor and 37.3 percent from deep.
Brunson's big year helped the Mavericks finish fourth in the Western Conference with a 52-30 record. They reached the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2011 but fell to the Golden State Warriors in five games.