Nets Stars Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson Sound Off on Kevin Durant Trade

Mikal Bridges, Brooklyn Nets

Getty Mikal Bridges #25 of the Brooklyn Nets.

It’s not every day that a player of former Brooklyn Nets (turned Phoenix Suns star) Kevin Durant’s caliber gets traded, though Durant himself has now been traded twice in his illustrious career.

“It’s KD,” newly-acquired swingman Mikal Bridges said via the team’s official YouTube channel ahead of the Nets’ eventual 101-98 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on February 11. “I get it. I 100 percent get it. That’s just how it is. I would rather say I’d rather be happy that I got traded for KD than probably like somebody else who I didn’t think would be good or something like that. So just being a realist at the end of the day.”

Bridges had a nice showing in his debut scoring a team-high 23 points with six rebounds, two steals, and one assist while connecting on three of his five looks from beyond the arc.

It was a promising showing for a player that was in high demand even after being traded.

“Obviously, I’m going to miss everyone there, miss my home, miss all my friends that’s back there,” Bridges admitted, “but I mean get it. You’re getting Kevin Durant, bro. Maybe I would have probably made that trade too.”

The Nets received the 26-year-old Bridges along with teammates Cameron Johnson, also 26, disgruntled 32-year-old veteran forward Jae Crowder, and a bevy of first-round picks in for Durant, one of the best players in the NBA when healthy. Crowder was almost immediately re-routed to the Milwaukee Bucks for a handful of second-round picks.

That they kept him amid such outside interest speaks volumes to what the Nets think of Bridges who was drafted 10th overall in 2018.

Bridges was not the only one to open up about the entire cross-country shuffle.

Cameron Johnson Weighs-In on Trade

“I wouldn’t say I was too shocked by it,” Johnson said according to Friedell. “Anything’s fair game. Come to this trade deadline with a rumor like that swirling, with Kyrie [Irving] departing, you just have a feeling that maybe something’s kicking up.”

Johnson is in an interesting situation.

His contract is set to expire after this season with restricted free agency ahead of him and one knee surgery that cost him 38 games this season.

“I took the news and at first it was like, ‘Whoa!’ But then, quickly, it was back to normal and understanding that we have work to do, that we need to get out here, get acclimated with the guys, the team, the area. And then just a lot of excitement for this opportunity, it’s a great opportunity.”

It got off to a rather shaky start with Johnson scoring 12 points on 4-for-13 shooting from the floor, though he did add seven rebounds, three assists, and three steals which tied his season-high.

But he could only connect on two of his eight deep looks, usually a trademark of his game.

The Future of Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson

As good as Bridges and Johnson are, they are 26 and not quite viewed as the superstar-level players that it takes to win a title. That could make for an interesting summer for a Nets team still trying to figure out what its next great undertaking will be. It could even involve revisiting those previous trade talks.

Brooklyn also had talks with Toronto at the trade deadline but that was in an apparent move to satiate Kevin Durant.

It is unclear if there will still be interest in a deal over what should be an interesting summer.