Home Sports Jalen Brunson agrees to 4-year, $156.6 million deal, gives Knicks $113 million break in guaranteed money: Report

Jalen Brunson agrees to 4-year, $156.6 million deal, gives Knicks $113 million break in guaranteed money: Report

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 14: Jalen Brunson #11 of the New York Knicks reacts during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Second Round Playoffs against the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden on May 14, 2024 in New York City. The Knicks won 121-91. NOTE TO USER: The user expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading or using this photograph, the user agrees to be bound by the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

The New York Knicks are paying Jalen Brunson, but not necessarily as much as they could.

The Knicks All-Star agreed to a four-year, $156.5 million contract extension, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPNbefore becoming eligible for a five-year, $269 million contract next summer. The difference between those deals is $113 million in guaranteed money.

Brunson was already under contract for next season with a salary of $25 million, with the possibility of terminating it in 2025.

However, it’s a bit more complicated than simply Brunson giving the Knicks a nine-figure discount. As Wojnarowski explainsBrunson will receive $37.1 million less over the next three years, but his fourth year is a player option. If he opts out of his contract, Brunson would be eligible for a four-year deal worth $323 million in 2028 or a five-year deal worth $418 million in 2029.

That would be part of the reason Brunson is taking a pay cut now, but his deal definitely helps the Knicks keep their burgeoning contender together after signing OG Anunoby to a five-year, $212.5 million contract and trading nearly every first-round pick possible for Mikal Bridges.

One of Brunson’s Villanova Knicks teammates sees his deal as a team player for the point guard.

So Brunson is doing his team and potentially himself a favor down the road, assuming he’s still a star in 2028, when he’s 31.

The deal is the latest in a highly-hyped Knicks offseason. The team lost standout center Isaiah Hartenstein to the Oklahoma City Thunder in free agency, but retaining Anunoby means the team will be able to rely on a core that looked like one of the NBA’s best teams when the trade deadline acquisition was healthy.

The addition of Bridges also improves the team’s defensive identity while giving them another player who can complement Brunson on offense, as Bridges did for three years while at Villanova.

The main drawback this offseason was the concern about financial flexibility going forward. Fortunately, Brunson was willing to help them out.

Two years ago, the Knicks managed to persuade Brunson to leave the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for a four-year, $104 million contract to play at Madison Square Garden, losing a second-round pick in the process after the NBA determined they had tampered with him.

No one is complaining about that lost pick now, because signing Brunson already looks like one of the best moves in Knicks history.

After four seasons in which he complemented Luka Dončić, Brunson became one of the NBA’s best point guards once he took over the Knicks. His value extends beyond the court, as the leader of the team’s young core, composed primarily of Villanova, under coach Tom Thibodeau.

At roughly $26 million per season, there were few better deals in the NBA than Brunson’s contract, and now he’s helping the team even more.

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