3 Reasons Jalen Brunson Should Sign New York Knicks Extension

Jalen Brunson, New York Knicks
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 NBA offseason has been a busy one for the New York Knicks. But, the job of the front office is not done as several players on the team, including star point guard Jalen Brunson, are eligible for contract extensions.

Along with Brunson, Julius Randle is eligible to sign an extension this offseason. It will be interesting to see what Leon Rose and the front office decide to do after the team made some huge moves already.

Before the 2024 NBA Draft, New York acquired Mikal Bridges from the Brooklyn Nets. They followed that up by re-signing OG Anunoby to a five-year, $212.5 million deal before he hit the open market.

The contract extension talks with Jalen Brunson will dominate headlines until a decision is made. The max offer that can come from the New York Knicks is four years, $156.5 million.

Should he sign an extension this offseason, he will be eligible to sign a five-year, $269.1 million deal when he can hit free agency in 2025. Signing an extension this summer would be a bold move, but one that has its positives.

Here are three reasons why Jalen Brunson should sign a four-year extension this summer and forgo nearly $113 million in salary waiting one year.

3. Extra Security

Jalen Brunson has made it known that New York is where he wants to be. Even if he doesn’t agree to an extension this offseason, he won’t be viewed as a flight risk in free agency, as he has no interest in playing elsewhere.

But, one of the selling points for the New York Knicks should be the added security. Locking in a contract for four more years would guarantee he is being paid a hefty sum through 2028.

After seeing what happened during the playoffs against the Indiana Pacers, when he fractured his hand, it is something Jalen Brunson could consider. Given his style of play and stature, history suggests injury luck won’t be on his side.

Turning 28 years old in September, agreeing to a four-year extension would keep him under contract through his age 31 season. That is tempting, as he is still going to be making money hand over fist even without waiting.

2. Easier to Achieve Goal of Contention

The NBA landscape is changing because of the new CBA rules. Hard caps after trades along with first and second aprons are making it more and more difficult for teams to retain their cores long-term.

We are seeing just how fearful organizations are when it comes to building up too much of a payroll. The 2022 NBA Champion Denver Nuggets, with three-time MVP Nikola Jokic, should be building the roster up around him. Instead, they have lost key contributors each offseason.

Teams over the second apron consistently face harsh penalties. Not only will the owner be served a massive tax bill, but roster building becomes tough. Rules are in place limiting who can sign players on the buyout market and some penalties will impact draft standing.

These are all things the star point guard understands and is taking into consideration. Winning, for him, is always the No. 1 goal. The contract he signed two years ago helped put the franchise in the position they are in now to upgrade the roster around him.

If Jalen Brunson wants to help turn the New York Knicks into perennial contenders, it becomes much easier if he signs an extension this offseason. A team’s best player setting that kind of example will only lead to others following suit.

1. Can Make Comparable Money in Long-Run

Should Jalen Brunson decline a contract extension this offseason, there is always a chance he will take less than the max in 2025 when it is presumed he would decline his player option. However, there is a route that accepting the extension this season results in almost comparable money down the road.

The difference seems stark between the extension he is eligible for and what he could earn on a new deal in 2025. However, there is one thing that the New York Knicks could pitch him on; 10-year service time.

Should Jalen Brunson sign a contract this summer with a player option in the last year, he could hit free agency in 2028. He would have 10 years of NBA experience, which means he would be eligible for a supermax deal worth 35 percent of the salary cap.

Given the rising salary cap in the NBA, a new deal for Jalen Brunson in 2028 is projected to be worth $417.8 million. He would start off earning $72 million in Year 1, with a Year 5 salary of $95.1 million.

These are Monopoly money numbers, but it is the direction the league is trending in with new TV deals. Fred Katz of The Athletic shared that taking the extension this offseason and waiting until 2028 to cash in would result in $263.1 million in earnings through 2030.

Declining the contract this offseason and signing a max in 2025 would result in a max of $269.1 million being earned through 2030. Given how close in value each of those values are, it doesn’t seem as ludicrous of an idea for Jalen Brunson to sign a deal with the New York Knicks once eligible on July 12th.

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