When you think of the 2018 Mavericks draft, All-NBA Luka Doncic comes to mind. However last season, Brunson proved to be more than a role player averaging 16 points per game. Brunson showed his ability to be a dominant player on the court in the first round of the 2022 playoffs.
Brunson single handedly dismantled and ended the Gobert x Mitchell era in Utah. Without Luka, Brunson averaged 28 points per game and it started to have the Mavericks front office worried. The Mavericks before the 2021-22 season had the opportunity to offer Brunson 4 years, 55 million but decided not to. Brunson who was born in New Jersey and a two time national champion at Villanova had an opportunity to go play in the Mecca. The Knicks hired his father to be an assistant coach earlier in the year, but the Mavericks still could retain him. Unfortunately for Luka, Cuban did a Cuban and offered Brunson a 5 year $110,000,000 deal. The Knicks offered 4 years $104,000,000 in which the Mavericks did not match.
After the 2021-22 season, the Knicks found themselves with a disappointing 37-45 11 seed. The addition of Brunson was much needed as the clear hole in the Knicks was the point guard. Kemba Walker was a disaster for the Knicks, Rose was injured, and Quickley's inexperienced showed.
The Knicks this season without Brunson are 5-5 but with Brunson they are 37-28. Currently sitting as the 5th seed with a 42-33 record, they have already surpassed last seasons win total by 5 with games still left.
Brunson emergence cannot be understated as not only are his statistical averages going up but his teams are also succeeding. Without Brunson this year, Dallas is a mess and now with Brunson the Knicks are winning. Other players are also reeping the benefits, specifically Julius Randle who is having a bounce back season.
As a result, Brunson's market is on fire over the last three months. This could continue depending on how the Knicks fare in the playoffs. Althought a deep run is unlikely, it would be out the realm of possibility depending on how the matchups shake up.