The New York Knicks are one of, if not the hottest team in the NBA this season, and, while many factors have aided in their ascension up the proverbial totem pole, perhaps the most highly publicized has been the offseason addition of point guard Jalen Brunson.
Signed to a four-year, $104 million deal this past summer, the 26-year-old has been a revelation during his inaugural season in the Big Apple and, with his production, is leading this fifth-seeded Knicks team in win shares with a whopping 8.1.
Though initially deemed by some as a bit of an overpay, through 66 games played in 2022-23 the acquisition of Brunson is swiftly turning into arguably the top move from the summer and, in a recent episode of Showtime’s “Ticket & The Truth,” the show’s co-host, long-time Knicks archrival, and NBA legend Kevin Garnett went as far as to suggest that the signing could be argued as being the most impactful free agency pickup since the Golden State Warriors landed Kevin Durant in 2018.
“The Knicks are a real contender,” Garnett said. “Leon Rose and all those guys in the (front office are) looking like executives of the year with the Brunson (signing) man…Seeing what he’s doing, man, listen, I don’t know if you give him (most improved player) but he has been the most impactful player or free agent (for) a team since (Kevin Durant) going to Golden State…Brunson has made a huge difference. Like, he’s made a cultural difference.”
Through 61 games played with the Knicks, Brunson has gone on to post career highs virtually all across the board, as he finds himself averaging 23.9 points, 6.2 assists, and 3.6 rebounds on 48.7% shooting from the floor and 41.1% shooting from distance.
Already in the running for the league’s Most Improved Player award, some such as ESPN’s Michael Wilbon have gone on to suggest that the 26-year-old should also be in the conversation for the MVP award and, with the 2004 recipient of the illustrious award, Kevin Garnett’s recent praise of his value to New York, there seems to be some serious merit behind his candidacy.
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Jalen Brunson is not the only Knicks backcourt talent currently found in the hunt for a prestigious league-wide award, …read more