Mikal Bridges was a three year player at the University of Villanova. Bridges was one of the most consistent players in college basketball over the past two seasons. He played in a system at Villanova which was based off ball movement and defense. Bridges was one of the top defenders in college basketball under Jay Wright. Mikal is one of the most NBA ready players in this draft with his sizw, length, athleticism, offensive ability, defensive ability, and his work ethic.
Mikal Bridges Potential Fits :
1 : New York Knicks
The New York Knicks are in need of a wing player who thrives on the defensive end and can provide some offense. The Knicks played a number of guys at the small forward position last season which included Tim Hardaway Jr, Courtney Lee, and Lance Thomas. The problem was that Hardaway and Lee were undersized for that position which resulted in some mismatches on the defensive end. Lance Thomas was one of the best defenders on the Knicks but wasn’t the offensive player that Lee and Hardaway were. Mikal Bridges would be the dream fit for the Knicks with his abilities on both ends of the floor.
Bridges would come in day one and be all to start at the small forward position for New York. Bridges would be paired with the young core in New York which would be ideal for them to build chemistry. Mikal would be able to play with Frank Ntilikina, Damyean Dotson, Luke Kornet, Emmanuel Mudiay, and whoever else the Knicks select in this draft during the Summer League. This would give the young players time to learn each others game and gain chemistry. Mikal Bridges could thrive under David Fizdale who is a defensive first coach which is Bridges biggest asset. If Mikal Bridges is on the board when the New York Knicks make their selection then look for the Knicks to draft him with no hesitation.
2 : Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls are in the beginning stages of a rebuild with some nice pieces on their roster in Bobby Portis, Denzel Valentine, Kris Dunn, Zach Lavine, and Lauri Markkanen. The Chicago Bulls traded away their franchise player Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves last offseason in exchange for Kris Dunn, Zach Lavine, and the rights to Lauri Markkanen. This trade worked out for the Bulls as Kris Dunn had a rebound season and Markkanen was the starting power forward and got to play a full season to learn the NBA style.
Mikal Bridges would be another plug and play for the Bulls at the small forward position. Bridges would bring defensive versatility to the Bulls. Mikal would be paired with Zach Lavine and Lauri Markkanen in which could be a bright future in Chicago. Bridges could start right away as the Bulls are rebuilding and looking towards the future.
3 : Philadelphia 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers had a remarkable season last year making it the second round of the playoffs. The 76ers have been trusting the “process” for the past couple of years with their high draft picks. Philadelphia finally had their young guys healthy and with the addition of some veterans they made a run in the Eastern Conference. The 76ers aren’t far away from competeing from a championship. Mikal Bridges would be a nice piece for Philadelphia and their talented roster. Mikal Bridges could be a 3-and-D player for the 76ers and learn from Robert Covington who is their best one on one defender. The 76ers have Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, and Markelle Fultz to build with. Mikal could another another dynamic player to the 76ers with his versatility on the offensive and defensive end. Mikal Bridges is a player who can guard multiple positions and can add to their offense.
4 : Charlotte Hornets
The Charlotte Hornets had a down season last year and missed the playoffs. The Hornets fired their head coach this offseason to move in a different direction. The Chairman of the Hornets is Michael Jordan who knows what it takes to win a championship. The Hornets hired James Borrego from the San Antonio Spurs as their new head coach. The Hornets have a playoff calibar team and might be one piece away from possibly contending. Mikal Bridges would be a huge addition and could be the missing piece.
Mikal could come in and be the starting shooting guard for the Hornets. With his defensive ability, his size/length, and his high IQ. Bridges would be in the starting lineup with Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum, Marvin Williams, and Dwight Howard. Whether the Hornets decide to start Bridges or have him off the bench as their sixth man. The Hornets also have Michael Kidd-Gilcrest, Jermey Lamb, and Dwayne Bacon which could cause a logjam. If the Hornets land Bridges they could look to trade Michael Kidd-Gilcrest and replace him with a younger defender who has a surplus offensive game.