Knicks’ Mikal Bridges on Being Traded Again: ‘Once again I got traded I was not a free agent idk what yall want me to do’

Knicks, Mikal Bridges
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks made a significant move this off-season, emphasizing their intent by acquiring Mikal Bridges. This strategic addition pairs Bridges with a roster already enriched with talent from Villanova, including his former teammates Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo, and Josh Hart.

Bridges’ Transition from Nets to Knicks

Bridges bid farewell to the Brooklyn Nets over the weekend, signaling his trade rather than a free-agency departure. This underscores that the decision to move was not in his hands. Despite the Nets’ previous plans to build around Bridges, the Knicks made a compelling offer of five future first-round picks, aiming to rejuvenate their roster with young, promising talent.

Bridges Enhances Knicks’ Defensive and Offensive Play

With the addition of Bridges, the Knicks gain an elite defender and a high-caliber wing that complements their existing squad. Bridges, now potentially the third or even fourth scoring option behind OG Anunoby—who recently signed a significant contract extension—brings considerable skill to the team. Last season, he averaged 19.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.6 assists, with a .436 field goal percentage and a .372 three-point shooting percentage.

The Impact of Bridges on Team Strategy

Bridges’ presence on the Knicks allows the team greater creativity in defensive alignments. His ability to shoot effectively from the perimeter and drive aggressively to the rim will be pivotal. With Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson dominating the interior, the Knicks can enhance their offensive rebounding, which will allow them to take more shots and increase their aggression in transition.

Jan 23, 2024; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Mikal Bridges (1) talks to New York Knicks forward OG Anunoby (8) during the first quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Financial and Competitive Implications of the Bridges Deal

The acquisition of Bridges not only fits perfectly with the Knicks’ strategy due to his background as a Villanova standout but also makes financial sense. Earning $23.3 million next season, Bridges’ salary is only slightly higher than that of Bojan Bogdanovic, who is expected to come off the bench. With two years remaining on his contract, the Knicks are well-positioned to compete for a championship in the near future.

Embracing New Aspirations

Despite a heartfelt departure from Brooklyn, Bridges is likely thrilled about his new chapter with the Knicks, a team with loftier ambitions for the upcoming season.

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