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Report: Knicks about to hire Rick Brunson — Jalen Brunson’s dad — as assistant coach

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: JAN 18 Spalding Hoophall Classic

SPRINGFIELD, MA - JANUARY 18: Camden Panthers head coach Rick Brunson reacts during the second half of the Spalding Hoophall Classic high school basketball game between the Camden Panthers and Rancho Christian Eagles on January 18, 2020 at Blake Arena in Springfield, MA (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ric Brunson is an experienced NBA assistant coach. After a nine-year NBA playing career, he has been on the bench of the Nuggets, Bobcats (now Hornets), Bulls and Timberwolves. The last two of those were coaching under Tom Thibodeau. Brunson the player was also one of the first clients for agent-turned-Knicks President Leon Rose.

Which is to say, there are non-ulterior motives for the Knicks to hire Brunson as an assistant coach, which they are about to do, according to Ian Begley of SNY.TV.

It also happens that Rick Brunson is the father of Jalen Brunson, the Knicks’ top off-season free agent target. If you want to believe that’s a coincidence, go right ahead. But you’re wrong.

New York is a long shot to land Jalen Brunson this summer, even with his father on the staff. First off, Dallas has the inside track to re-sign Brunson — and Mark Cuban said they would pay to keep him. Brunson is comfortable with the Mavericks organization, understands how to play next to Luka Doncic, and knows Dallas is poised to chase rings for years.

The Knicks selling point is a bigger role and the ball in Brunson’s hands more. New York needs a point guard who can be their floor general and who will initiate the offense on most trips down the court. It’s a bigger role than the one playing next to Doncic.

However, the Knicks don’t have the cap space to sign Brunson outright — at least four years, $85 million — which means executing a sign-and-trade to get him. Since Dallas wants to retain Brunson, they will not play nice. It becomes challenging and expensive for the Knicks to land their target.

Never say never, but signing dad is likely not enough to lure Jalen Brunson to New York.