The Brooklyn Nets are making a costly mistake by overvaluing Mikal Bridges.
There is no bigger mistake that teams can make in the NBA, especially rebuilding ones, than overvaluing their own players. And that’s a sin that the Brooklyn Nets are on the verge of committing heading into the offseason.
When the Nets were forced to move Kevin Durant at the NBA Trade Deadline, they made the best of the circumstances. As the saying goes, the Nets did a great job of making lemonade out of lemons. Mikal Bridges, who was the centerpiece of the KD blockbuster deal, was even better than expected during his first half-season with the Nets.
Bridges was a good player for the Phoenix Suns through the first few seasons of his career, but during his stint with the Nets this season, he proved that he has the potential to be a great player. In 27 games played with the Nets after the trade, Bridges averaged 26 points, five rebounds, and three assists per game on 48 percent shooting from the field and 38 percent shooting from 3-point range.
Those aren’t numbers that just any player can put up. Bridges certainly showed flashes of brilliance, but the next natural question for the Nets is not just whether Bridges is A foundational piece heading into the future, it’s whether he’s THE foundational piece for the franchise.
And if he’s not THE foundational piece for the future of the franchise, there should be no situation where he’s viewed as an untouchable for a rebuilding team this offseason. But recent reporting seems to indicate that the Nets view him as an untouchable this summer.
The Nets are reportedly not interested in a potential trade of Bridges for a package that includes the No. 3 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft and Anfernee Simons, a 23-year-old that is coming off a season in which he averaged 21 points and four assists per game this season.
To simplify it further: The Nets would say no to a trade offer from the Blazers that would essentially be: Brandon Miller/or Scoot Henderson and Simons for Bridges.
With all due respect, that’s absolutely insane.
For as good as Bridges is and flashed during the 27 games with Brooklyn, there would be little debate in saying that Miller and Henderson both have higher ceilings than Bridges. And Simons is one of the most talented natural young scorers in the league right now.
The Nets are making a big mistake by viewing Bridges as a superstar before he’s proven to be one. Bridges is a really good player, but he’s not a No. 1 in today’s NBA. And that’s OK. Brooklyn could be on the verge of making a massive mistake in overvaluing Bridges.