The Dallas Mavericks addressed a need with their reported acquisition of big man Christian Wood from the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, and now the franchise is hopeful it can lock up another key player this offseason.
The Mavericks are "confident" that they will re-sign Jalen Brunson this summer after reaching the Western Conference Finals, according to ESPN's Tim MacMahon.
The news comes as little surprise after Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer reported there was belief around the league that Brunson would return to Dallas.
Mavs owner Mark Cuban also addressed his desire to retain the 2018 second-round pick while reflecting on the 2021-22 season in May, saying that the franchise would go all-in to keep him in Dallas.
"We can pay him more than anybody, and I think he wants to stay and that's most important," Cuban said.
According to NBA insider Marc Stein, Brunson is in line to receive a contract that "meets or exceeds" the four-year, $85 million deal Fred VanVleet signed with the Toronto Raptors in 2020.
MacMahon previously reported that NBA executives believe Brunson will receive a deal worth between $20-25 million per year.
The maximum amount Dallas can offer the veteran is $175.5 million over five years, per Spotrac. It's hard to imagine he would receive that much as it would mean he would be making $35.1 million per year.
While signs are pointing toward Brunson returning to Dallas, there have been rumblings about him playing elsewhere next season as several teams have expressed interest, including the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers.
The New York Knicks have also been considered a landing spot for the Villanova product because his father joined Tom Thibodeau's coaching staff in early June. However, Stein previously reported the Mavericks aren't concerned about Brunson joining the Knicks.
That said, the interest in Brunson comes as no surprise as he had a breakout 2021-22 season. The 25-year-old averaged 16.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists while shooting 50.2 percent from the floor and 37.3 percent from deep in 79 regular-season games.
Brunson was even better in the postseason, averaging 21.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists while shooting 46.6 percent from the floor and 34.7 percent from deep in 18 games.
If he returns to Dallas, the Mavericks will once again be one of the top teams in the Western Conference.