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The NBA is investigating the New York Knicks’ offseason signing of Jalen Brunson, Per Chris HaynesBrunson signed a four-year, $104 million deal with New York on his first day in free agency, and the league is investigating whether the Knicks contacted the young guard before free agency began.

New York’s interest in Brunson was reported long before free agency began, and the Knicks were thought to be the favorite to sign him from the Dallas Mavericks just days before the June 30 start date, in part because of his Family Relations owns the franchise. The Knicks hired Jaylen’s father, Rick Brunson, as an assistant coach a few weeks before free agency, and New York general manager Leon Rose was Jaylen’s agent before taking the front office position. When free agency opened on June 30, it was reported that Brunson would meet with the Mavericks and Knicks, but Dallas ultimately did not get a formal meeting because Brunson decided to sign with New York.

If the league finds the Knicks guilty of tampering, they could face penalties such as fines or loss of draft picks. Last summer, the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat both waived second-round picks after the league found they had tampered with the signings of Lonzo Ball and Kyle Lowry, respectively. The same has happened for the Milwaukee Bucks in 2020, after an investigation determined the team tampered after agreeing to a failed sign-and-trade for Bogdan Bogdanovic.

However, even if the Knicks get a second-round pick, it’s a small blow to getting the point guard they’ve always needed. Brunson was instrumental in the Mavericks’ run to the Western Conference finals last season, and his first-round performance against the Utah Jazz showed he’s capable of a bigger role.

Without Luka Doncic, Brunson averaged 32 points, 5.3 assists and 5.3 rebounds in three games against the Jazz. He’s an efficient guard who doesn’t turn the ball over too often and can settle the offense when needed, something the Knicks have been lacking. Losing the draft pick will be a small price to pay if Brunson can help the Knicks get back into the playoffs.

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