The New York Knicks have been heavily connected to Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson in free agency, but the team could also be after San Antonio Spurs point guard Dejounte Murray via trade.
Longtime NBA reporter Marc Stein provided the scoop on his Substack.
"It’s believed that the Knicks could pivot to trying to make a run at San Antonio's Dejounte Murray via trade or another target of Murray’s caliber using the many draft picks they’ve stockpiled even if Rose, as increasingly expected, secures Brunson's signature."
SNY's Ian Begley reported that the Knicks would have the draft capital to go after Murray. He also stated that he wasn't sure "if the Knicks have touched base with San Antonio, but rival executives see Murray and Brunson as a strong fit, for what it’s worth."
Brunson, who will be 26 when next season starts, averaged 16.3 points and 4.8 assists per game last year for the Western Conference finalists.
Murray, who will also be 26 by the start of the 2022-23 campaign, posted 21.1 points, 9.2 assists, 8.3 rebounds and an NBA-high 2.0 steals per game for the Spurs, who reached the play-in tournament.
Numerous sources have pegged Brunson-to-the-Knicks as inevitable.
Sources told Tim Cato of The Athletic that it's a "certainty" Brunson will leave Dallas for New York. Stein also reported that there is "growing resignation in Dallas, sources say, that the Knicks are indeed Brunson's top choice and his inevitable destination."
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski also reported that the Knicks dealt Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel to the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday to clear cap space for a Brunson pursuit.
The tea leaves have been pointing to Brunson heading for New York for some time, but Murray being mentioned as an addition alongside him is a plot twist.
Murray has been connected to the Atlanta Hawks in a trade, with Zach Klein of WSB-Ch.2 Atlanta reporting the following on Monday:
Zach Klein @ZachKleinWSB
In talking with multiple sources around the NBA, many believe Hawks on verge of trading for San Antonio's All-Star guard Dejounte Murray - However, it's looking like John Collins is not part of deal. Would be Gallo & multiple 1st round picks. Spurs prepping for future & '23 draft
But the Knicks are apparently in the picture now per the Stein report.
New York would presumably have some competition for Murray if he's indeed on the trading block. He nearly averaged a triple-double in his age-25 season and plays great defense to boot. Naturally, any trade package back to the Spurs has to be exorbitant to match Murray's immense value.
Adding Murray would be a huge boost to a Knicks team that suffered through a disappointing 37-45 season that wasn't even good enough for the play-in tournament. For now, it appears Brunson is an inevitable addition, but the Murray watch could be on in New York as well.