Mark Cuban disputed the notion that Jalen Brunson was willing to sign a four-year, $56 million extension with the Dallas Mavericks as late as early January in 2022. Both Jalen Brunson and Rick Brunson have said they were willing to sign an extension with the Mavericks at that point.
"Where it went south was when Rick took over, when the parent took over, or parents took over," Cuban said.
Cuban insisted the Mavericks weren't given an opportunity to negotiate before Brunson signed a four-year, $104 million deal with the New York Knicks as a free agent.
Cuban read reporters text messages from Mavs general manager Nico Harrison and Brunson's agent Aaron Mintz that he said were sent in late January and early February 2022. One of the texts from Harrison stated that Rick Brunson indicated that Jalen expected to receive a contract with salaries in the range of $18 million to $23 million per year.
The Mavericks were limited to a four-year, $56 million extension unless they made a trade to create salary cap space.
"'We aren't gonna make a decision on JB based on what Aaron says his dad wants in July,'" Cuban said, quoting a text from Harrison. "And Nico back then is saying -- this is in February -- 'I agree with you, but I think just the New York thing is too tied to their family to overcome.'"
The Mavs, who possessed Brunson's Bird rights, could have offered significantly more money than the Knicks and a fifth year on the contract. According to Cuban, the Mavs were not given that opportunity.
"We didn't know what the bid was," Cuban said, speaking to the media a day after Doncic said the Mavs missed Brunson "a lot" and bemoaned the decline of Dallas' chemistry this season. "They never gave us a number. Knowing the numbers now, I would've paid it in a heartbeat, but he wouldn't have come anyway. There's just no possible way that it was about money.
"I mean, there was no negotiation. They didn't give us a number. I mean, you would think that when you're the incumbent team and you can match anything, that's the way it works. Right? You have a relationship with the agent and they want at least give you a chance because you helped develop the player. You had him for four years. Okay, let's work together."