It also served as a bit of a showcase and, with the 26-year-old swingman showing well enough, he could entice a team like the upstart Sacramento Kings to put in a bid for his services. Of course, that will have to come via trade.
“The Kings need to be careful,” writes Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report on May 10. “As evidenced by their first-round exit, they need to keep expanding their talent base—and do it quickly, since 25-year-old De’Aaron Fox and 27-year-old Domantas Sabonis are right in the heart of their primes.
“Sacramento could send quite a message by winning the bidding war for Mikal Bridges, then.”
Bridges surprised averaging 26.1 points on 60.7% true shooting with 4.5 rebounds, and 2.7 assists over 27 games with the Nets after being traded from the Phoenix Suns ahead of the deadline.
His points and rebounds would have been career-highs across an entire season as was his 47.6% overall efficiency while he shot 37.6% from downtown.
The Kings snapped a 16-year playoff drought which was the longest in professional sports. But they bowed out in the first round after seven games against the Golden State Warriors. Taking the defending champs seven games signals a team headed in a different direction than getting swept out of the playoffs in the first round for the second year in a row.
“While it’s possible (if not probable) the Brooklyn Nets will hang onto Bridges and see how much better he can get, they could also reasonably expect to land a mountain of assets in exchange for him,” Buckley writes.
In a previous article, Buckley swapped out Bridges for a package including Kings rookie and former No. 4 overall pick Keegan Murray.
– Keegan Murray
– Richaun Holmes
– 2027 1st Round Pick
– 2029 1st Round Pick
– Mikal Bridges
As hefty of a package as that may seem to be, it might still not be close to enough.
Nets Looking to Build Around Bridges
Despite what would surely be plenty of interest in Bridges were he made available, Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn has already signaled that he plans for Bridges to be around next season if not for the entirety of his contract. And if that wasn’t enough, general manager Sean Marks alluded to the same in speaking about looking forward to seeing Bridges continued development.
Bridges is signed through the 2026 season on a four-year, $90.9 million contract.
For his level of production, his deal could be considered one of the league’s best values in the league ranking 65th in annual value, per Spotrac.
But even Bridges knows he cannot rest on his laurels.
Mikal Bridges Lays Out Offseason To-Do List
“Probably creating off the dribble and playmaking,” Bridges said when asked what he plans on working on this summer in a video shared to the Nets’ Twitter feed on May 5, a to-do list that falls in line with what Vaughn wants to see from him next season.
Bridges already showed that he can create for himself, with fewer than 44% of his looks coming off an assist which would have been a career-low if done across an entire campaign.
He missed out on making All-NBA this year, getting just two third-place votes. But, perhaps with a full offseason and further tweaks to the roster, he might be able to replicate what he did after being traded and then some which the Nets are surely banking on having already turned down an offer of four first-round picks for him.