Jalen Brunson is one of the most important players on the Dallas Mavericks today. He runs the show when Luka Doncic is off the court and transcends the norms of a bench player when he’s driving to the rim or swishing threes. He’s also emerged as a defensive stud and a player who Head Coach Rick Carlisle trusts to use in crunch time. It’s safe to say that Brunson’s play has been crucial to the Mavericks’ recent success and that he’s in line for even bigger things in the near future.
The Emergence of Jalen Brunson and His Future
Brunson is averaging a very consistent 12.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game. He also barely averages a turnover per game, making him an extremely efficient player. In addition, he has strong shooting splits of 54.39-82.
He’s continued to pour in great games all season long, including the Mavericks’ win last week versus a formidable foe in the Boston Celtics. Brunson scored 21 points, grabbed five rebounds, and provided three assists. More so than this too, he was extremely efficient scoring 80 percent of his field goals. Boston climbed back late in the game and made it close, but Brunson provided the closing factor. He also went 4-for-4 from the free-throw line in the last minute of the game.
On Monday, in a win against the NBA-best Utah Jazz, Brunson had another fantastic game to the tune of 20 points, four rebounds, and three assists on 57 percent shooting from deep.
Brunson really started to take off in the month of February, and a simple look at his game logs shows an increase in minutes since then. His stats may not always pop off the box score sheet, but his effectiveness and presence are clear every time he’s on the floor. He’s very calm on the ball, can effectively run the offense, and keeps the Mavericks in check when Doncic isn’t around. It’s a tough ask to back up an All-Star starter, but Brunson does it flawlessly.
Dallas is on top of the Southwestern Division, and although Brunson is only the team’s fourth-highest scorer, he’s arguably the most effective player outside of the Doncic-Kristaps Porzingis duo.
There’s a Bright Future Ahead for Jalen Brunson
Next season is the last year on Brunson’s contract with the Mavericks. He’ll make roughly $1.8 million, but it’s safe to say he’ll attract seven to eight times that amount when he hits the market.
That’s where things get interesting.
Next year is also the last year on Doncic’s contract, and surely Dallas will offer him as much as they can. With this being the case, it may be difficult to envision the Mavericks keeping Brunson. Doncic and Brunson, however, have been very effective together in the backcourt, so perhaps Mark Cuban and company may see Brunson as a starter. They should because most of the league will during the 2022 offseason.
It’s too early to speculate on what teams will be the best fit for Brunson if he departs Dallas. With that being said, it will surely be any team with cash to spend and in need of a point guard.
Brunson is only 24-years-old. He’ll be 26 when he hits free agency. That’s the prime of his career, and he’ll be ready for the next step.
He’s a natural winner as seen by his collegiate accolades with Villanova. Even more so, he’s trusted by one of the top coaches in the game to back up the future face of the league in Doncic.
Dallas needs a player like Brunson now and in the future. He fits this team’s window perfectly. At the same time, however, he deserves a starting role. His steady improvement is obvious, and he’ll be a bonafide name in no time.
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