Mikal Bridges has been the Brooklyn Nets‘ leading scorer since the All-Star break. But despite having him as an all-world talent, the Nets are far from ready to compete for a title with their current roster. And after seeing the tipping point of the Kevin Durant trade be a plethora of first-round picks, it is clear that Nets owner Joe Tsai is focused on getting younger and building for the future.
In this latest trade proposal from Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, the Nets trade Bridges to the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors for a massive four-player, one-draft pick haul.
Full trade details are below:
Patrick Baldwin Jr.
Future first-round pick
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Jordan Poole Is ‘Proven Commodity’
Last summer, Poole signed a 4-year, $128 million extension with the Warriors that kicks in next season, so his price tag is significantly heftier than Bridges, who is on a 4-year, $90 million deal. But Poole has shown that he has the capabilities to be a superstar. Last year, the star guard was the fourth leading vote-getter for the NBA’s most improved player award after a breakout season. Poole averaged 18.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game. This season has been no different as he averages a career-high 20.4 points per game.
Poole also provides something that Bridges cannot, championship experience. Poole was not just a proverbial “bus rider” when the Warriors won the title last season. He was one of their most important players, averaging 17.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game. In addition, he is three years younger than Bridges at 26, making him the perfect player for the Nets to jumpstart their rebuild next season.
“The Nets, meanwhile, will need a total reset at some point, and this could get their rebuild rolling,” Buckley writes.
“Poole is a proven commodity, Kuminga has dropped several hints at having a sky-high ceiling, and the other three are wild cards. If they all hit, the Nets could be sitting pretty in the near future.”
Warriors Adding Mikal Bridges Is ‘Smartest Move’
While the trade makes all the sense in the world for the Nets to make, Buckley notes that many Warrior fans won’t be crazy about this trade. Giving up four players, two of whom are key to your future, for a player who has never been named an All-Star isn’t exactly a dream scenario. But since joining the Nets, Bridges is averaging 26.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists per game, and shoots a scorching 42.3 percent from beyond the arc.
He is also a better defender than Poole by leaps and bounds, as he was one of the finalists for last year’s defensive player of the year award. Bridges, with a Warriors core that already features Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andrew Wiggins, could allow them to compete for championships far into the future.
“Warriors fans might initially hate this. That’s fine. They’re essentially unloading all of their young talent and a first-round pick for two players who have never been All-Stars. That isn’t the easiest deal to sell,” Buckley writes.
“But this would ditch the idea of operating on two different timelines and be a total commitment to giving Curry his best shot at adding to his jewelry collection. The Warriors won’t have another talent like him pass through their organization for a long time (or ever?), so doing everything they can to maximize his tenure feels like the smartest move.”