Boardroom dives into the details of one of the biggest moves in NBA free agency this summer — the New York Knicks’ nine-figure Jalen Brunson contract.
This summer, the New York Knicks got a little bit of that magic back — they were able to pursue and sign a player in free agency that truly did not want to play anywhere else. Former Villanova standout Jalen Brunson opted to depart the Dallas Mavericks, signing a four-year, $104 million deal to ply his trade under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks’ roadmap for landing Brunson was rather overt. His father, Rick — himself a former Knicks player — was hired to the team’s coaching staff. Rick’s former agent at CAA, Leon Rose, is the current President of the Knicks. Leon’s son, Sam, is Brunson’s agent now. With all this in mind, the Mavericks questioned whether the Knicks had conducted any tampering with regards to the pursuit and the signing. As of this writing, the NBA has not signalled one way or another that an investigation might be forthcoming.
In the meantime, Boardroom looks at the numbers behind the Knicks’ big-time Jalen Brunson contract.
Jalen Brunson Contract Details & Salary
Total value: $104,000,000
Average annual value: $26,000,000
Free agency: 2026
Annual contract earnings:
2025-26 (player option): $24,960,001
Brunson has a player option after 2024-25, so he reserves the right to jump back into the free agency pool one year early. Notably, he makes the most money in the very first year of the deal, a departure from most other NBA contracts, which tend to be backloaded.
Under the terms of this contract, Brunson cannot be traded until after Dec. 15, and has a trade kicker that would hand him a 10% salary boost should the Knickerbockers ever decide to move him while he’s still under contract.
Brunson is coming off a solid 2021-22 campaign and even more impressive postseason, helping the Mavericks reach the Western Conference Finals. He averaged career highs in points, assists, minutes, and free throw percentage, and figures to be a key piece as the Knicks look to rebound from a disappointing season after making the playoffs in 2020-21. Once this deal is complete, assuming Brunson exercises his 2025-26 player option, he will have increased his career earnings by more than 15 times.
Jalen Brunson’s Career Earnings
NBA SALARY EARNINGS THRU 2021-22:$6,112,770
ESTIMATED SALARY EARNINGS THRU 2025-26: $110,112,770