Mark Cuban made himself available from reporters Wednesday and addressed the Dallas Mavericks’ storylines this 2022-23 season that includes the Jalen Brunson departure from the New York Knicks for a four-year, $104MM deal.
Per Cuban, the Mavs didn’t have that opportunity to negotiate and re-sign him. He also accused Rick, Brunson’s father who is now an assistant in the Knicks, of meddling in the free agency of the combo guard.
“Where it went south was when Rick took over, when the parent took over, or parents took over,” Cuban said, per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.
The Mavs were just limited to a four-year, $56 million extension in their case for a Brunson extended partnership unless they deliver a trade to make cap space. As such, Cuban also disputed the claim of the guard that they were willing to ink the mentioned deal if they were offered that, further reading the text conversations of team manager Nico Harrison and Brunson’s free agent Aaron Mintz as proof.
“We didn’t know what the bid was,” Cuban added. “They never gave us a number. Knowing the numbers now, I would’ve paid it in a heartbeat, but he wouldn’t have come anyway. There’s just no possible way that it was about money.
“I mean, there was no negotiation. They didn’t give us a number. I mean, you would think that when you’re the incumbent team and you can match anything, that’s the way it works. Right? You have a relationship with the agent and they want to at least give you a chance because you helped develop the player. You had him for four years. Okay, let’s work together.”
Brunson blossomed his game as he is now in New York this season, helping the Knicks to make it to the playoffs by averaging career highs in points (24.0) and assists (6.2).
In hopes to fill that Brunson void, Dallas went on to pull their trigger and Kyrie Irving. But since the trade, Dallas found hardships in contending and is now fighting for a play-in chance, who is now 38-42 after their recent win against the Sacramento Kings.
As such, Cuban expressed his desire to retain Irving, who will hit the offseason market as an unrestricted free agent.
“I’d love to have him stay for sure,” Cuban said. “I’d love to have him. I want him to stay for sure, and I think we have a good shot. I think he’s happy here. He tells me he’s happy here, and I get along great with him. I think he’s a good guy. All I can tell you is everything I thought I knew about Kyrie because of everything I read was 100% wrong.”