Mavericks owner Mark Cuban likes his team’s odds of keeping rising guard Jalen Brunson.
“We can pay him more than anybody,” Cuban told Marc Stein of Bally Sports Southwest. “I think he wants to stay and that’s important.”
Brunson, 25, is coming off a career year in his fourth season, averaging 16.3 points and 4.8 assists. He is the son of former NBA guard Rick Brunson.
Jalen, though, is an unrestricted free agent and has been linked to several rival teams, including the Knicks.
“When it happens, it happens,” he told reporters of free agency after the Mavs’ season-ending loss to the Warriors.
“I’m not worried about it right now. Honestly, at this point, how I feel, I’m really happy that I got to play with these guys, and the things that we did this year, that’s all I’m really focused on right now.”
But Cuban likes the Mavs’ chances given, again, that Dallas is where Brunson prefers.
“I think (Mavs coach Jason Kidd) has a big part to play in that,” Cuban told Stein. “JB blossomed as a player as much as anybody on the squad. From where he was last year to how far he came this year is a tribute to Jalen and how hard he worked.
“The support he got from his dad, his family, his girlfriend, but also what he was able to learn to from J-Kidd. And I think he recognizes that and I think he wants to stay.”
The Mavericks are coming off their first appearance in the Western Conference Finals since 2011.