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Simons Or Brunson: Who Do You Take?

The Portland Trail Blazers and New York Knicks handed out similar contracts to two young guards on Thursday.

Restricted free agent Anfernee Simons, 23, scored a four-year, $100 million contract to return to Portland while unrestricted Jalen Brunson, 25, earned a four-year, $104 million deal with New York.

While some might decry the size of the pair’s respective pay packets, there’s nuance to be considered before criticizing the deals. Next year’s cap is projected to reach $133 million. A starting-level player earning $25-$27 million a year will be the equivalent of 20 percent of said cap, which is a perfectly reasonable share for two starting-level players whose contracts end before each turns 30.