Knicks Acquire Mikal Bridges in a Blockbuster Trade With Nets

Mikal Bridges in 2018
Mikal Bridges in 2018. Photo by Duncan Williams/Csm/Shutterstock (9454178y)

The New York Knicks reached into their trove of draft picks on Wednesday to acquire forward Mikal Bridges in a blockbuster trade with the Brooklyn Nets. The move reunites Bridges with former Villanova teammates Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart, and Donte DiVincenzo.

According to SNY’s Ian Begley, the Nets didn’t wish to trade Bridges, continuing to believe he could be a franchise cornerstone for years to come. However, the player himself wanted to move to their cross-town rivals while the Knicks made them an offer they couldn’t refuse.

Reportedly, Brooklyn received four of their own unprotected first-round picks (2025, 2027, 2029, and 2031), a protected 2025 first-rounder from the Milwaukee Bucks, and a pick swap in 2028. Additionally, the Nets will get back their own 2025 second-round selection and veteran forward Bojan Bogdanovic.

This marks the first trade between the Knicks and the Nets since 1983.

The initial reactions around the league indicate there is a belief that the Knicks overpaid for Bridges. However, the Knicks have the right to believe Bridges puts them at the very top of the Eastern Conference after a deep playoff run this past season and improves their chances of winning a title.

Bridges averaged 19.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game for the Nets while playing in all 82 games. He has yet to make an All-Star since entering the league as 10th overall pick in 2018 but has an NBA All-Defensive First Team nod from 2022.