Knicks acquire Mikal Bridges for 7 potential draft picks in crosstown blockbuster with Nets

Mikal Bridges Knicks
Apr 10, 2024; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Mikal Bridges (1) warms up before a game against the Toronto Raptors at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Nova Knicks have somehow added even more Wildcat flair.

Hooking up with the crosstown Brooklyn Nets, the Knicks acquired star wing player Mikal Bridges for Bojan Bogdanovic, four unprotected first-round draft picks, a protected first-rounder from the Milwaukee Bucks, an unprotected pick swap, and a second-round pick, as first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Bridges is now the fourth Knick who was a member of Villanova’s 2016 national championship roster, joining Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo, and Josh Hart.

Hart may attempt to take some of the credit for getting the wheels of a deal in motion. In a conversation on Instagram earlier this month, he joked for Bridges to “blink and we’ll save you,” from the Nets.

To the surprise of few, he was as excited as expected when the news broke, posting, “YO, WE F—ING LIT” on X. The foursome of Nova Knicks even hopped on a quick Facetime to celebrate their reunion.

Bridges, 27, checks multiple pressing needs for a Knicks team that needed another legitimate scoring threat in the backcourt to help alleviate some of the offensive load off the shoulders of Jalen Brunson. Last season in 82 games with Brooklyn, he averaged 19.6 points per game while shooting 37.2% from three-point range. 

Should the Knicks’ offseason go according to plan, he would slot into the 2 over Donte DiVincenzo while the 3 would still belong to OG Anunoby — though the latter portion of the prospective plan is in somewhat precarious standing considering the all-important mid-season acquisition from the Raptors will demand big money on the free-agent market this summer. 

The Knicks will not have to worry about Bridges’ contract for the time being. He has two years remaining on a four-year, $90.9 million contract.

What plays into head coach Tom Thibodeau’s plan even more is Bridges’ intangibles. He is one of the top perimeter defenders in the league and should be rejuvenated in a Knicks lineup that prides itself on that side of the ball. It is a major aspect that derailed New York’s playoff run last season — along with injuries — as they allowed six different Indiana Pacers (minimum 10 attempts) to shoot over 40% from beyond the arc in their Eastern Conference semifinal loss.

Bridges has also appeared in every game in four of his six pro seasons and has never missed more than 10 games when he has not. He has led the league in minutes played twice and last season, averaged 34.8 minutes per game, which plays well into Thibodeau’s high-usage philosophy.

For more on Mikal Bridges and the Knicks, visit AMNY.com