The NBA has begun an investigation into the New York Knicks for alleged tampering regarding free agent pickup Jalen Brunson, sources told Yahoo Sports.
The league will look into whether the Knicks made contact with Brunson prior to the start of the free agency period.
Reports emerged days before June 30 that Brunson already had a deal in place with the Knicks. Brunson and the Knicks agreed to a four-year, $104 million deal after New York was thought to be the frontrunner to land the free agent point guard.
In Brunson’s introductory news conference, the Knicks did not allow media to attend and allowed only in-house media employees to participate. Brunson's dad, Rick, is an assistant coach with the Knicks. Leon Rose, the Knicks' general manager, negotiated Brunson's rookie contract with the Mavericks. Rick Brunson was Rose's first client as an agent.
Before free agency officially opened, Yahoo Sports reported that Brunson was scheduled to meet with a handful of teams when the legal period began. Ultimately, Brunson met with only the Knicks, who were able to offer him the type of deal he was seeking.
The Knicks created salary-cap space to offer Brunson that deal when they traded center Nerlens Noel and guard Alec Burks to the Detroit Pistons, clearing $19 million in salary. The Knicks also sent 2023 and 2024 second-round draft picks and $6 million in cash to the Pistons.
Brunson averaged 11.9 points, 3.7 assists and three rebounds per game in four seasons with the Dallas Mavericks. Brunson was a reliable backup option behind Luka Doncic.