If there is one player out there the Kings should go all in for, it is Mikal Bridges. Bridges never misses games, is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league, shoots threes well, and has grown immensely as a scorer since coming to the Nets.
At first, it seemed that there was an All-Star hidden in the 3-and-D guy, only waiting to step out of the shadows of the bigger names in Phoenix. By now, it has become clear that Bridges is rather overtaxed as a number one option.
Being the third option, the glue guy and the defensive backbone of a team seems to be a role much better suited for Bridges. In Sacramento, he could be exactly that and turn the Kings into a much better team.
Their lack of defense is easily their biggest weakness. It is difficult to outscore opponents when they encounter only little resistance on the perimeter and no rim protection.
Bridges would drastically change that. He could take on the toughest perimeter player on the other team, moving youngster Keegan Murray down to the second-best player. Murray has grown a lot as a defender over the course of just one summer, but it would make his life much easier if he didn’t have to guard the opponent’s best player every game.
Offensively, Bridges would be a good fit, too. He knows how to play his role to perfection from his time in Phoenix, does many of the little things well, and is now equipped to step in and have a big game if needed.
Enticed by the potential of Bridges on the Kings, ABC10 Sports anchor and host of the Locked on Kings podcast Matt George alongside Locked on Nets host Adam Armbrecht, came up with the following mock trade:
Kings receive: Mikal Bridges
Nets receive: Kevin Huerter, Colby Jones, 3 first-round picks
How realistic is this trade?
Getting Bridges would be a dream come true for the Kings and their fanbase. They would have to come to Brooklyn with an offer that can not be refused, however. Otherwise, at this point, it seems unlikely that the Nets will be willing to part ways with Bridges.
The organization views him as the centerpiece for the team’s future, as they try to retool around him. So far, things are not going too well. The Nets are currently sitting in eleventh place in the East with a 16-24 record and a four-game losing streak.
Bridges is 27, in his prime, and playing well despite all the losing. Only three things could possibly get him out of Brooklyn: an offer too good to resist, a trade request from Bridges, or the realization that the Nets need to tear it all down and get as many draft picks as possible.
From a Kings’ standpoint, it can’t hurt to ask, however. They might get lucky and call just at the right time or at least start the conversation about Dorian Finney-Smith instead or lay the foundation for a possible Bridges trade in the future. After all, the Nets are in no rush to trade him by the trade deadline and might change their minds later on.
So, it is rather unlikely that Bridges will be on the move by the trade deadline, but it is not impossible that he will leave Brooklyn eventually.
Grade the trade
Giving up a starter and three first-round picks is a steep price, but it is worth paying for Mikal Bridges. He would be a true difference-maker, and if the Nets are willing to move him, the Kings shouldn’t hesitate. They won’t be the only team calling about Bridges.
From the Kings’ perspective, this deal gets a B-. Theoretically, it is perfect for Sacramento, and one can always dream. The improbability of it happening anytime soon takes some points away from it, however.