Knicks Notes: Brunson, Randle, Anunoby, Bogdanovic, Seeding

The Knicks have some big decisions coming this offseason beyond OG Anunoby potentially hitting free agency, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Post, as both Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle will be extension-eligible.

Offering Brunson the maximum extension they’re able to is pretty straightforward, but he can earn significantly more money on his next contract if he declines his 2025/26 player option and hits free agency next year, so he might not be interested in locking in a new deal quite yet.

Still, as Bondy details, there are reasons why Brunson may accept the extension. For starters, he would be eligible for another deal sooner, potentially closing the earnings gap down the road — similar to what Giannis Antetokounmpo did just before this season started. Long-term financial security is another factor that might work in the Knicks’ favor, Bondy adds.

I mean, obviously that’s a thing that you want to have, security,” said Brunson — who, even if he makes All-NBA, is not eligible for a super-max extension because he signed with the Knicks as a free agent. “But I’m just focusing on finishing the season, doing the best we can to make sure everyone’s back healthy and just doing my part. That’s at the forefront of my mind and I’ll worry about that stuff later.”

Bondy argues it wouldn’t make sense to extend Randle, given the injuries the three-time All-Star has sustained over the past year and Brunson’s stellar play in his absence. It would also limit the club’s flexibility moving forward, something the Knicks have been heavily focused on since president of basketball operations Leon Rose took over in 2020.

Here’s more on the Knicks:

  • While Boston didn’t have much to play for on Thursday, having locked up the East’s No. 1 seed a long time ago, New York’s dismantling of the NBA’s top team was impressive, led by another dominant performance from Brunson, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic. “The way he plays, the things he can do, it’s definitely special,” Anunoby said of Brunson. “He’s one of the best in the league. He’s playing like an MVP; (he) should win MVP.” Brunson finished with 39 points on 15-of-23 shooting in 30 minutes against the Celtics’ second-ranked defense.
  • In the closing seconds of a chippy game, Nets guard Cam Thomas shoved Brunson to the ground out of frustration in Brooklyn’s loss to New York on Friday, prompting Anunoby to stand up for his teammate, per Andrew Battifarano of The New York Post. “It means a lot,” Brunson said (Twitter link via Ian Begley of Both Thomas and Anunoby received technical fouls for the incident.
  • Bojan Bogdanovic‘s transition to New York hasn’t gone smoothly, but he’s been strengthening his case for having a rotation role in the playoffs with his recent play, Bondy writes for The New York Post. “I’ve been confident, even with a lot of ups and downs that I’ve had with the Knicks,” said Bogdanovic, who was acquired at the trade deadline from Detroit. “I’m feeling more comfortable in my role right now. Kind of adjusting a little bit because it’s not the same. I’ve been a starter for 10 years, but here going into the playoffs, I hope that I’m starting to play way better and keep my level up.”
  • It wasn’t their best performance on a second of a back-to-back, but Friday’s victory secured a top-four playoff seed for the Knicks, as Peter Botte of The New York Post relays. Many of the final seedings in both conferences remain up in the air — New York can still finish anywhere from No. 2 to No. 4.
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