The Brooklyn Nets are clinging tight to Mikal Bridges, even if the No. 3 pick in the NBA Draft is available.
The Brooklyn Nets completely remade their roster at the trade deadline in February, sending Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns for a historically large trade package centered on 3-and-D extraordinaire Mikal Bridges.
Well, as it turns out Bridges is capable of more much than 3-and-D duties. He absolutely scorched the nets for his new team, averaging 26.1 points on .475/.376/.894 shooting splits and unveiling a mid-range repertoire that would make KD proud.
The 26-year-old Bridges was suddenly the foundational piece of an offense — and the Nets cruised to the No. 6 seed in the playoffs, barely losing any ground in the standings. The season ended with a whimper in the first round against Philly, but the Nets had plenty to be proud of given the turbulence Jacques Vaughn's team endured all season.
Now, Brooklyn won't even consider trading Bridges unless the package is astronomical.
The Portland Trail Blazers are rumored to have significant interest in trading the No. 3 pick in June's NBA Draft for a win-now piece to complement Damian Lillard. A lot of teams should be looking to capitalize on that short-sightedness.
Brooklyn, however, doesn't appear too interested in the pick. According to Alex Schiffer of The Athletic, Brooklyn has no immediate interest in trading Bridges for the No. 3 pick and would likely require more than the pick and one significant asset (Anfernee Simons or Shaedon Sharpe) to consider making the trade.
On the surface, the Nets should probably be willing to engage with Portland given the presumed player available with the No. 3 pick. All signs point to Scoot Henderson being the guy there. Context is always important when evaluating prospects, but the top of this draft is uncommonly strong. Henderson probably would have been the No. 1 pick in last year's draft, for example — he's that caliber of prospect.
Henderson would give the Nets a foundational piece with a longer timeline than Bridges, plus there's plenty of upside to be mined from a player like Shaedon Sharpe. On the flip side, Brooklyn has no incentive to rebuild. Virtually all of Brooklyn's first-round picks between 2024-2027 belong to someone else because of the James Harden trade. Bottoming out and taking it "slow" won't help the Nets gain favorable position in future drafts.
The trade market for stars has been through the roof in recent years. The Jazz squeezed four first-round picks out of Rudy Gobert. The Nets can probably get a more significant offer elsewhere, at least in terms of volume of draft capital and young talent. That said, the odds of Brooklyn getting two prospects better than Henderson and Sharpe (or Simons) are fairly slim. Out of respect for Henderson, the Nets should at least ponder a hypothetical Portland package.2023-05-25T21:26:51Z dg43tfdfdgfd