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NBA Scout Sees Jalen Brunson As Underrated

NBA Analysis Network

While a lot of the talk surrounding the New York Knicks the last few weeks has been on NBA AllStar Donovan Mitchell, some people are seemingly forgetting that they already filled their biggest need earlier this offseason. Adding Mitchell would be the cherry on top of the Knicks finally addressing their need at the point guard position.

Finding a stable answer at point guard has not been easy for the Knicks. They have cycled through numerous uninspiring options the last few seasons and things have gone about as well as you would expect them to.

This season, and for the foreseeable future, they will have Jalen Brunson manning the position. He signed a four-year, $104 million deal with the Knicks as a free agent this summer, leaving the Dallas Mavericks.

While there have been plenty of skeptics saying that Brunson won’t live up to that contract, he is a sizable upgrade over what the team has had. After all, he was the second-best player on a Mavericks team that advanced to the Western Conference Finals earlier this year and when Luka Doncic wasn’t on the court, he was their best player.

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Some people have questioned his fit on the team, but one NBA scout who talked to NBA Analysis Network isn’t overly concerned. They actually believe he fits better than people are believing.

“Right now, I think the value of having a steady hand like Brunson to run their offense is being overlooked. He makes smart decisions and takes care of the ball very well. … He is really crafty running high pick-and-roll, and he’s an underrated isolation scorer. He can really attack off the catch, too. The game is going to come easier for the whole group playing with him.”

Too often at the end of the games, the Knicks’ offense would go stagnant because they lacked someone that could get them organized. That is what happens when your starting point guard is a wing player in Alec Burks.

It cost them numerous times throughout the season as they would crumble in crunch time. With Jalen Brunson in the fold, they have someone they can count on in crunch time to get the team into the best position to win.

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The hypothetical fit of Jalen Brunson and Mitchell, two undersized guards, is another thing people have strong opinions about. But, again, the scout doesn’t believe it is something that should be worried about too much.

“Even if the Knicks do get a trade done for Donovan Mitchell, the fit offensively with Brunson will be great. Both guys can take turns running the offense and attacking while the other is effective without the ball. … Defensively, the size can be a problem, but at least they would have a shot blocker behind them with Mitchell Robinson.”

Jalen Brunson and Mitchell would be one of the most dynamic scoring backcourts in the NBA. Both are capable of excelling on the ball as the lead playmaker or off of it as a scoring option. That kind of versatility will make the Knicks a much tougher team to defend.

The defense could at times be an issue, but depending on who is part of the trade package to Utah, New York should have some stoppers still on the roster. The scout mentions center Mitchell Robinson, who is one of the best shot blockers in the NBA. RJ Barrett also has the chops to be an excellent defender from the wing position and we have seen what an engaged Julius Randle can do as well.

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