Brooklyn Nets wing Mikal Bridges has been a revelation for the Nets ever since he was traded to Brooklyn in the Kevin Durant deal. After spending the first 365 games of his career as a third or fourth option on the Phoenix Suns, Bridges became the bonafide primary scoring option for a Nets team that needed every bucket from the former Villanova Wildcat.
Bridges, 26, recently did an interview with Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated. In that interview, Bridges talked about everything from how the Denver Nuggets became NBA champions through team-building to how Bridges felt when he was traded from the Philadelphia 76ers, who initially drafted him with the 10th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, to the Suns on the night of the draft.
One of the interesting things that Bridges talked about in this interview was how he transitioned into a primary scoring role with the Nets. The amazing thing is, Bridges went from averaging 17.2 points per game during the 2022-23 season with the Suns to averaging 26.1 points per contest with Brooklyn on just five more shots per game.
The way Bridges played for the Nets is the reason why the franchise is comfortable with building around him instead of selling the farm to acquire another star-level player. Obviously, if someone like Portland Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard is available for a reasonable price, Brooklyn will do what it can to make the team better. However, as Bridges talked about in the interview, he showed enough to warrant the Nets trusting him to be their best player moving into the future:
“It’s a great opportunity [in Brooklyn]. I always tell people I got traded at the right time with having pretty much the whole team out and being the guy for about a month and just going through the pains and the gains and growth throughout every day. Having bad games and losing a lot to finally starting to get it going and start being efficient and trying to win games. And, then once it kind of got to that and then that’s when I got traded. So, it was perfect timing. I couldn’t have been traded at a better time.
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Source: Yahoo Sports