Brooklyn Nets guard Mikal Bridges has been everything that the Nets organization and fanbase could have wanted ever since he was acquired in the Kevin Durant trade. Bridges is in an interesting place in the NBA as there are some who view him as a budding star and there are those who view him as someone who was better than expected, but isn’t the best player on a championship team.
Bridges, 26, took his game to a different level after arriving in Brooklyn after the February trade deadline. After averaging 17.2 points per game on 46.3% shooting from the field and 38.7% from three-point land during his time with the Phoenix Suns in 2022-23, Bridges averaged 26.1 points per game while shooting 47.5% from the field and 37.6% from three with the Nets.
Despite Brooklyn playing below-average basketball after the trade deadline for a variety of reasons, the former Villanova Wildcat showed that he had the ability to score in a role beyond just waiting for kickouts for three-point shots. Bridges displayed that he could be a main contributor within an offense that is playoff-caliber.
As Brooklyn navigates this offseason having five free-agents, most notably restricted free-agent wing Cam Johnson, they have a significant amount of draft capital to either continue their rebuild with young players or create a package that gets them a star-level player. However, there have been multiple reports that the Nets are not interested in trading Bridges at this time. Michael Saenz of Fansided believes that is a mistake for Brooklyn:
“Bridges certainly showed flashes of brilliance, but the next natural question for the Nets is not just whether Bridges is A foundational piece heading into the future, it’s whether he’s THE foundational piece for the franchise.
And if he’s not THE foundational piece for the future of the franchise, there should be no situation where he’s viewed as an untouchable for a rebuilding team this offseason. But recent reporting seems to indicate that the Nets view him as an untouchable this summer.
The Nets are making a big mistake by viewing Bridges as a superstar before he’s proven to be one. Bridges is a really good player, but he’s not a No. 1 in today’s NBA. And that’s OK. Brooklyn could be on the verge of making a massive mistake in overvaluing Bridges.”