Proposed Trade Would Send Sixers a $90 Million Philadelphia Native

Mikal Bridges

Getty Mikal Bridges

The Philadelphia 76ers hope to improve their current standing following their playoff elimination. With their cap flexibility, they can do just that, but they have to choose wisely. One player who could help them reach another level is Mikal Bridges.

In a May 9 story, Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz proposed a trade that would send Bridges to the Sixers. He proposed the following between the Sixers and Brooklyn Nets.

76ers Receive: Bridges, Dorian Finney-Smith

Nets Receive: 2024 first-round pick (No. 16 overall), 2026 first-round pick (least/less favorable of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, or Los Angeles Clippers), 2030 first-round pick, 2027 and 2028 second-round picks

Swartz explained why Bridges should be a top target for the Sixers.

“Getting Bridges to pair with Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey should be at the top of Daryl Morey’s wish list.

“Bridges, 27, is the most durable player in basketball and averaged 19.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.6 assists in his 82 games this season. His high-level defense and three-point shooting make him the ideal starting small forward between the Sixers’ stars.”

He also added why Finney-Smith appeals to the Sixers.

“Landing Finney-Smith to be the team’s starting power forward would be icing on the cake. The 31-year-old is a versatile defender who can space the floor and doesn’t need the ball in his hands to make an impact on games.”

Bridges will enter the third year of a four-year, $90 million contract. The Sixers originally drafted Bridges in 2018 but traded his rights to the Phoenix Suns.

Sixers Named Among ‘Best Fits’ for Mikal Bridges

There have been no indications that the Nets plan to trade Bridges, but after the season they had, it would make sense for them to capitalize on his value. Swartz explained why Bridges is in the wrong situation in Brooklyn.

“On the Brooklyn Nets, he’s been asked to do too much offensively,” Swartz wrote in a May 8 story. “The 27-year-old would fit best on a team where he can get more scoring opportunities than he had in Phoenix but doesn’t have the pressure of being a primary offensive option like he does in Brooklyn.

“It doesn’t help that the Nets don’t have a sense of direction at the moment. They went 32-50 this season, but they refuse to embrace a teardown because of how much future draft capital they owe to the Houston Rockets.”

He added that the Sixers could acquire him for more reasons than his skillset.

“The Philadelphia 76ers could undo their draft-night mistake of trading Bridges to Phoenix and look to acquire him again to play between Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey.”

Sixers Considered Biggest Threat to Sign Paul George

If Bridges isn’t on the table, the Sixers will reportedly chase after other wings who may enter free agency. NBA Insider Marc Stein reported that the Sixers are considered to be the biggest threat to the Los Angeles Clippers for George on the #thisleague UNCUT podcast.

“They are seen as the foremost threat on the NBA map to swipe Paul George away from the Clippers. The Orlando Magic also have to be in that conversation, but it’s the 76ers who have the Clippers most concerned here, and I’m talking about long-term concerns,” as was transcribed by Bleacher Report’s Paul Kasabian.

Despite his age, George has a more accomplished rap sheet than Bridges.

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