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NBA punishes New York Knicks for tampering with Jalen Brunson as Mavericks free agent

The NBA has determined the New York Knicks violated tampering rules while pursuing Mavericks free agent Jalen Brunson during free agency and rescinded their 2025 second-round draft pick, the league announced Wednesday.

The investigation lasted more than four months and found that the Knicks engaged in free-agency discussions with Brunson “prior to the date when such discussions were permitted,” according to the NBA.

The Mavericks will not receive any compensation.

The parameters in Brunson’s case appeared obvious, but also tricky, to declare tampering.

The Knicks hired Brunson’s dad, Rick, as an assistant coach a few weeks before free agency, and New York’s general manager, Leon Rose, is the father of one of Brunson’s agents, Sam Rose, and a close family friend since before Brunson was born.

Days before free agency discussions formally opened June 30, the Mavericks already anticipated Brunson would leave for the Knicks.

Brunson’s camp canceled a June 30 meeting with the Mavericks, when owner Mark Cuban, general manager Nico Harrison, coach Jason Kidd and others planned to make their “best pitch” to keep Brunson, and reports of Brunson’s four-year, $104 million deal were among the first to circulate.


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