The Knicks will lose their own second-round pick in the 2025 draft as a penalty for violating NBA rules governing free agency, the league announced today (via Twitter).
“This outcome reflected a finding, following an investigation, that the Knicks engaged in free agency discussions involving Jalen Brunson prior to the date when such discussions were permitted,” the NBA said in its statement, adding that the team “fully cooperated” with the investigation.
The Knicks were one of two teams investigated this year for possible free agency gun jumping after they signed Brunson to a four-year, $104MM contract in July. Days before free agency opened, word began to trickle out that Brunson was “widely anticipated” to sign with New York for a four-year deal exceeding $100MM, with multiple reports suggesting that the Mavericks had believed for weeks that the point guard was bound for the Knicks.
It’s not unusual for free agents’ presumed destinations to leak before the negotiating period officially begins on June 30. However, it raises eyebrows in the league office when the details of a rival team’s offer to a free agent leaks days in advance and there’s a publicly reported widespread belief that the player will join that team.
Brunson’s case was complicated further by the fact that he had personal relationships with so many people within the Knicks’ organization. President of basketball operations Leon Rose represented Brunson as a player agent before he joined New York’s front office, and his son Sam Rose is one of Brunson’s reps at CAA. Rick Brunson, Jalen’s father, was hired by the Knicks as an assistant coach several weeks before free agency began.
According to Steve Popper of Newsday (Twitter link), besides investigating the Jalen Brunson signing, the league also looked into the hiring of Rick Brunson and the signing of another CAA client, Isaiah Hartenstein. However, the league only found an issue with the Jalen signing.
The Sixers faced a similar investigation due to their free agency moves, including a contract agreement with P.J. Tucker that leaked early. Philadelphia was docked a pair of second-round picks for early contact with Tucker and Danuel House.
A year ago, the Heat and Bulls each forfeited second-round picks for free agency gun jumping related to Kyle Lowry and Lonzo Ball, so the NBA has established a pattern of penalizing a second-rounder for each instance of early free agency contact.
The Knicks have traded away their own 2023 and 2024 second-round picks, so the 2025 pick was their earliest available second-rounder. The team had acquired extra second-rounders in ’24 and ’25, but it appears the NBA decided to rescind New York’s own pick to simplify matters.
17 thoughts on “Knicks Lose 2025 Second-Round Pick For Free Agency Gun Jumping”
The Knicks don’t care, 100% worth it to get Jalen, the only person this hurts is pick 60 of the 2025 draft
What if instead they gave that pick to the Mavericks, the Mavs get something for having him poached early
Right. They also have a boatload of 2nds, so there’s no way they care.
I’ve thought this would be a better “punishment”. It hurts prospects and doesn’t punish the team that does it all that much. At least if the Mavs had it they could draft a player or use it in a trade. Same w. the 76ers, they don’t care they lost those picks.
That’s actually a really smart idea..too smart for Adam Silver and Co.
Hurt? No. A player benefits by not being drafted in the 2nd round and instead being an undrafted FA. It was the NBA PA (not the league) that wanted the draft shortened.
DAL isn’t really an aggrieved team in a tampering with one of its UFAs. Those would be the other bidders (other than DAL and NYK) who never got to bid. DAL didn’t have to wait to bid.
How is pick 60 hurt? He justs ends up with the team with the next best record?
PHI got docked two 2nd’s because the league had evidence that the team discussed two FAs deals (Tucker and House) with Harden prior to his opt out decision and later signed both.
The article doesn’t say what evidence the league has of early contact between the Knicks and Brunson. Hopefully, more than just the relationships and a reported deal. In any event, those only apply to Brunson, not Hartenstein, so no, they didn’t get off easy by comparison.
Good point, I forgot House was involved in the Sixers’ penalty as well. I’ve adjusted the wording there.
I’m guessing the only evidence they had was the stuff you already know, that they hired Jalen’s dad, and they must have had some kind of family conversation. This article fail to mention that, although some writers “leaked details of the deal” in advance, the actual deal was for a couple million less than the “leaked” amount; the leaked amount, as it happens, was exactly the amount Jalen was supposedly asking for. Everyone knew the Knicks were looking for a point guard; they tried to maneuver in the draft to get one. Everyone knew that Brunson was arguably the top FA PG. Everyone knew that the Knicks had multiple ties with Brunson even before this FA period. And everyone knew how much Brunson was looking to get. Seriously, there’s no need for prior communications; all the Knicks had to do was make an offer in range and Brunson jumps on it.
That’s only enough to make people cynical and investigate. To find tampering, the league would need evidence of actual contract discussions between the sides, direct or indirect. Or a plea.
I’m sure you realize that the league does not release the “evidence”. There’s no requirement for transparency, or even consistency. We don’t know what the bar is for the league to find “evidence”, or if that bar is consistent. For all we know, the evidence the found was that Brunson and a Knicks employee, who happens to be his Dad, talked about his career over dinner. It could be as thin as that.
Why is this an issue. Jalen Brunson has always wanted to play in NY. Knicks need a real PG. He’s no dummy, he wants that position. How is it “gun jumping”, really that’s what we are calling it.
The player wants to go to a certain team. Why is this an issue. That’s what FA is about. The player chooses his team. Ridiculous lols
2nd rd pick is nothing to us.
It’s the fact that actual contract details were leaked prior to the start of free agency. Players are allowed to want to go somewhere, but they aren’t allowed to have their agents actually negotiate with teams until free agency officially starts. Hope this helps to clarify.
The contract value that was “leaked” was 3 or 4 million higher than the actual signed contract agreement. I noticed this at the time. The “leaked” number was also that exact number that had been reported here earlier as w what Brunson was asking for. If a “contract detail is leaked” and it’s not a detail in the actual contract; then that would not be much of a leak, would it?
On a different note !!!!!!!!
Brunson – 26 yrs old, plays both ways. Is an old school PG. Who can score.
2022 – 31 gms, 32 mins, 21 pts, 6.2 ast,
3.2 reb, .90%FT shooter.
Means he can shoot. So all other FG% will go up. Pretty nice yr so far. And we didn’t give up anyone to get him.
Knicks are (18-13).
So cheating pays and we should all do it? Not sure what your different note is.