The Knicks should consider only one off-season blockbuster deal

Brooklyn Nets forward Mikal Bridges (1) looks to drive past New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) in the first quarter at Madison Square Garden
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Realistically, the Knicks could run things back with their exact same roster and make a deep push in the 2024–25 postseason, given they are 100% healthy or close to it. Any blockbuster deals this off-season come with significant risk, potentially disrupting their flow and chemistry. There’s a reason the Knicks seem to be so beautifully in sync: a direct result of their Villanova trio and the joy they have playing together.

Could the Knicks Target Mikal Bridges from the Nets?

Injecting a commanding voice into the locker room that may disrupt their camaraderie certainly isn’t ideal, but if the Knicks want to go out and find a true secondary star to help support what they’ve already built, all they have to do is take the 4-train to Barclays Center.

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at New York Knicks
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Despite the fact that the Nets continue to insist on building around Mikal Bridges, they failed miserably to add talent around him this past season, leading to another underwhelming season for Brooklyn. Bridges is entering the third year of a four-year, $90.9 million. He will earn $23.3 million next season at 28 years old and $24.9 million for the 2025–26 season before hitting free agency.

If the Nets are looking to rebuild and add significant draft capital, the Knicks can offer them that and starting-level talent. Bridges is a former all-defensive player and represents a solid secondary scorer that would provide Jalen Brunson with another outlet.

The most exciting part about this idea is that Bridges is another Villanova product. The Knicks would have unbelievable chemistry. This past season, Bridges played 82 games, averaging 34.8 minutes, scoring 19.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.6 assists, shooting .436 from the field and .372 from downtown.

It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Bridges will take another big step forward if he joins the Knicks, a team that has winning aspirations and is competitive with good teams. The Nets simply gave the ball to Cam Thomas after the All-Star break and allowed him to shoot with significant volume. Everything the Nets have done has directly contradicted their commitment to Bridges, so resetting and allowing the Knicks to make a competitive offer might be in their best interest.

Bridges has the capability to play both guard and forward, but he’s primarily a small forward, a position that Tom Thibodeau knows how to utilize in his system.

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Brooklyn Nets, mikal bridges, knicks
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Of course, the Knicks may have to offload a solid player in a prospective deal, but it could be simpler than that. The Nets will likely want NBA-caliber talent in return as well as draft, so moving Julius Randle wouldn’t be out of the equation. However, they may want a young player like Miles McBride on a cheap contract to support their needs, so the Knicks might have to bite the bullet and compromise there, but adding Bridges would easily offset that loss.

The Knicks and Nets haven’t traded with each other since 1983, so it would certainly be an eye-opening event. A starting five of Jalen Brunson, Julius Randle, OG Anunoby, Bridges, and Isaiah Hartenstein would be one of the best in basketball and certainly considered championship caliber. It would be a bigger team, but with tremendous athleticism and defensive prowess. To pull off a miracle like that would obviously require offloading several big contracts, including Mitchell Robinson and Bojan Bogdanovich, which was clear about $34 million.

The Nets’ stinginess makes the probability of this low, but if there’s any blockbuster deal worth making this off-season, it’s for Mikal, who would fit seamlessly into the Knicks’ plans.

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