Knicks reunite Mikal Bridges with Villanova teammates in blockbuster trade with Nets: reports

 

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There’s just something the New York Knicks love about those Villanova products in the NBA. 

The Knicks have reportedly struck a trade with the Brooklyn Nets to bring Mikal Bridges, a former teammate of Knicks stars, Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart and Donte DiVincenzo during their time at Villanova, to Madison Square Garden in a blockbuster deal. 

In this first trade between both teams since 1983, the Knicks will send veteran forward Bogdan Bogdanovic, four unprotected first-round picks, one protected first-round pick via the Milwaukee Bucks, an unprotected pick swap and a second-round pick in exchange for Bridges, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

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The Knicks saw exactly what former college teammates could do on the floor together in the NBA last season, as Brunson, DiVincenzo and Hart all had stellar campaigns during the team’s playoff run. 

Now, Bridges reunites with teammates he won multiple NCAA national titles with during his college days. 

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Bridges’ reaction was likely that of all Knicks fans, as he posted on social media. 

“This is crazy lol,” Bridges simply posted on X

Bridges, the 10th overall pick of the 2018 NBA Draft who was traded by the Philadelphia 76ers to the Phoenix Suns on draft night, has developed into a star with the Nets since he was dealt before the deadline in the 2022-23 campaign. 

He jumped from 17.2 points per game to 26.1 over 27 contests that season as a Net, and last year’s production was solid as well. 

Bridges averaged 19.6 points per game with 4.5 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.0 steals, while shooting 43.6% from the field over all 82 regular-season games. 

The Philly native, who was a 2021-22 All-Defensive team honoree, figures to slot right into the starting lineup alongside his Villanova brothers, including the All-Star Brunson who exploded for an All-NBA nod after averaging a career-high 28.7 points per contest. 

The news of Bridges’ addition comes as OG Anunoby, the Knicks’ traded-for wing last season, reportedly opted out of his contract and decided to test free agency. 

Bridges, at 6-foot-6, has the ability to guard just about any player on the floor, and head coach Tom Thibodeau loves players with that extra hustle, which he provides every night. 

New York is clearly a win-now team after going 50-32 last season to earn the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. But they’ve lost in the conference semifinals in back-to-back seasons, so adding another playmaker who can thrive on both ends of the floor was paramount for their squad this offseason. 

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That box is checked with the addition of Bridges, who shouldn’t have any trouble getting acclimated with his new team.

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