Knicks Lose 2025 2nd-Round Draft Pick for Tampering with Jalen Brunson in Free Agency

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIDecember 21, 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 20: Jalen Brunson #11 of the New York Knicks dribbles the ball against the Golden State Warriors during the first quarter of the game at Madison Square Garden on December 20, 2022 in New York City. 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. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Sarah Stier/Getty Images

The NBA announced Wednesday that it has stripped the New York Knicks of their 2025 second-round draft pick for violating "league rules governing the timing of this season's free agency discussions" surrounding guard Jalen Brunson.

NBA Communications @NBAPR

The following was released by the NBA. <a href="https://t.co/qBA7JnwKlo">pic.twitter.com/qBA7JnwKlo</a>

The league claims the Knicks engaged in discussions with Brunson's camp prior to the date and time (June 30, 6 p.m. ET) that teams were allowed to begin negotiating with free agents.

The former Villanova star and Dallas Mavericks guard left the Mavs in free agency for the Knicks and signed a four-year, $104 million deal. He has excelled for New York with 20.8 points and 6.2 assists per game.

The 18-13 Knicks are currently riding a season-high eight-game winning streak.

Brunson had a connection to New York even before he signed with the Knicks. His father, Rick Brunson, played for the Knicks for 69 games over three seasons (1998-99 through 2000-01).

Rick joined the Knicks as an assistant coach last June after spending three years as Camden (New Jersey) High School's head coach. Brunson led Camden to a state title in March.

The NBA has penalized a number of teams for tampering in recent years.

The Philadelphia 76ers lost their second-rounders in 2023 and 2024 for tampering with free agents P.J. Tucker and Danuel House Jr. The Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat also lost second-round picks for tampering while negotiating their sign-and-trade deals for Lonzo Ball and Kyle Lowry, respectively.

Brunson was well worth the cost of a second-round pick for the Knicks, who have climbed to sixth in the Eastern Conference after an up-and-down start to the season. They'll look to keep their win streak going Wednesday against the Toronto Raptors.