Nets’ Mikal Bridges projected to be 8th-best wing by end of 2023-24 season

The Brooklyn Nets will be coming together for training camp in less than a month from now and once the 2023-24 season begins, they will be looking to make it back to the playoffs and hopefully make a run to the championship. One of the players they will be relying on is expected to take another step towards stardom.

In a recent article by Bleacher Report in which they gave their projections for the top-30 wings for the 2023-24, Nets guard Mikal Bridges was listed to be the eighth-best wing in the NBA by the time next season is over. Bridges being this high on the list is a testament to how far along he has come during his short time in Brooklyn.

Bridges, 27, came to the Nets as a result of the Kevin Durant trade to the Phoenix Suns at the February trade deadline this past season. In 27 games played with Brooklyn, Bridges averaged 26.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.0 steals per game while shooting 47.5% from the field and 37.6% from behind the three-point line.

Here’s what Eric Pincus had to say about Bridges’ place on this list:

“Mikal Bridges was the designated defender with the Suns, taking on the opponent’s top scorer. Any offense he brought was a bonus (he still averaged 17.2 points a game through 56 last season in Phoenix).

Once Bridges was sent to the Brooklyn Nets, he got to show his complete skill set as an offensive player, averaging 26.1 points over 27 games. That’s why the (almost) 27-year-old forward has jumped to a top-25 ranking—and how many of those listed ahead of Bridges are better defenders? Very few.

The bigger question is, how good can an NBA team be with Bridges as the top scorer? That may not matter much during the regular season. Brooklyn has enough talent to win over 40 games (though it has yet to make many changes since the Kevin Durant trade). But is Bridges a dynamic enough scorer and playmaker (2.7 assists per game with the Nets) to push his squad through much tougher playoff defensive schemes?”

Story originally appeared on Nets Wire