Jalen Brunson talked on the All The Smoke podcast about his efforts to sign a contract extension with the Dallas Mavericks multiple times before and even during the 21-22 season.
"There was a chance," said Brunson on staying with the Mavericks. "I really did want to stay in Dallas. I think before the season, before my fourth season in Dallas, last season in Dallas, we tried to extend our contract. Whatever we can get... the most we could get was like four years and $55 million. Obviously, we wanted to do that and I wanted to stay there. I thought I'd be there for a long time and I liked my role there.
"It's funny, because my agent was like, 'You can get more, you can more.'
"I'm saying 'Well, I just want to be safe. I'm not trying to gamble right now. This is not something you really gamble with if it's out there.
"But they were like, 'We went to see where we're at by like 20, 25 games into the season.'
"But were like, well, if we're not going to do it, I kind of don't want to do it until after the season. I'm not trying to think about this during the season.
"So there's a period where Luka [Doncic] went out and I started to start. I was playing really well. I think I was averaging like 20 and 6 maybe. It was about that 20 to 25 mark. And so we went back, like 'If the deal is there, we're thinking about it, like, I'll do it like right now.'
"Still, it was no. It wasn't a hard no. It was just like 'We want to see, we want to see.'
"The trade deadline comes, I'm like thinking if I'm not getting extended, I'm probably going to get traded...
"The deal came on the table after the trade deadline. I was like 'No, I think I've outgrown that now. Personally, that what I thought. 'I think I've outgrown that.'"
Brunson emerged into an even bigger role when Doncic was injured at the start of the playoffs.
"So we lose in the Western Conference Finals, I remember seeing something on Twitter after the game and it was like Mark [Cuban] saying 'Hey, we can pay him the most money.'
"So, he says that in the interview. Literally right after the game.
"I'm thinking, like, I'm okay. I just.. After that, it was crickets. From my point of view, I can't speak to anyone else, and my agents, from my point of view it was crickets."
Brunson went on to sign with the New York Knicks on a four-year, $104 million deal.