Knicks Jalen Brunson ‘one of the best free agent pick-ups’

Charles Barkley is drinking the Jalen Brunson Kool-Aid.

The surging Knicks have won seven in a row and 10 out of 12, with Brunson leading the charge.

Barkley spoke about what a great free agent acquisition Brunson has been on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” on Thursday night.

“Jalen Brunson is arguably one of the best free agent pickups in NBA history,” Barkley said. “What he’s done this year is historical.

“We didn’t know Jalen Brunson was this good of a player — nobody thought that.”

Barkley understood that Brunson isn’t quite on the level of LeBron James or Kevin Durant in free agent acquisitions, but made the point that coming into this season the consensus viewpoint was that the Knicks wildly overpaid in giving the point guard a deal worth $104 million over four years.

“Everybody thought going into this season that he got overpaid,” Barkley said, noting that Brunson excelled in the playoffs after Luka Doncic suffered a late-season calf injury.

“When did he shine [last season]? When Luka got hurt.

“Last season during the regular season, no one said Jalen Brunson’s gonna be a big time free agent — but when Luka got hurt he showed what he can do.”

The 26-year-old Brunson is averaging 23.8 points and 6.2 assists per game this season.

Jalen Brunson #11 of the New York Knicks drives to the basket
Brunson has thrived with the Knicks this season.
Robert Sabo for NY Post

Brunson scored 39 points on 15-for-18 shooting from the field in the Knicks’ 142-118 demolition of the Nets on Wednesday.

“The ball was going in the hoop,” Brunson said after the performance. “I can’t really explain it.”

Head coach Tom Thibodeau was impressed.

Charles Barkley called Jalen Brunson one of the greatest free agent pickups in NBA history.
Charles Barkley called Jalen Brunson one of the greatest free agent pickups in NBA history.

“When a player plays like that,” he said. “The scoring is impressive.

“To me, what’s more impressive is fighting the double team and getting the ball out quickly.”