The Brooklyn Nets may have failed in their recent attempt to go “all-in” with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving leading the charge, but their restructuring efforts following each of their respective dismissals appear to have set the franchise up for ample success moving forward.
Easily the biggest grab from GM Sean Marks’ midseason blockbuster tirade involving these aforementioned superstars last year was 26-year-old Mikal Bridges, who was acquired from the Phoenix Suns in the Durant deal.
The promising forward finds himself just now coming into his sixth season in the association, and the hope is that he, along with fellow youngsters Cam Johnson, Nic Claxton, Dariq Whitehead, and Noah Clowney can serve as the foundation of a highly competitive Nets team for the long haul.
However, when possessing youthful talents with such astounding upside as Brooklyn currently does, there always seem to be opposing clubs that are hoping to poach away such players, and, recently, Bridges himself was tabbed as a desirable trade option for one specific title-hopeful team out in the Western Conference.
Nets star Mikal Bridges labeled as a top ‘trade target’ for Memphis Grizzlies
In a piece penned by Bleacher Report on August 28, writer Zach Buckley listed the Nets’ building block as one of the top “trade targets” for the Memphis Grizzlies at the moment, citing the fact that someone like him — or Toronto Raptors stud OG Anunoby — could prove to be an ideal option to help address their need for a difference-maker out on the wing.
"“The Grizzlies can count on newcomer Marcus Smart to bring emotional leadership, dominant defense and plenty of playmaking to Beale Street. What they can’t do, though, is be certain that their summer spending will have finally addressed their need for a two-way wing. If Memphis feels that’s the only box unchecked on its championship checklist, then it could justify forking over a pile of picks and prospects to add this elusive puzzle piece,” Buckley wrote.“Bridges and Anunoby were both on Memphis’ radar at the trade deadline, and they could be more obtainable over the course of this coming season. The Nets could learn they don’t have enough to compete while Bridges is in his prime, and the Raptors may accept that a rebuild is inevitable.”"
Prior to his arrival in the borough, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reported that the Grizzlies had considerable interest in acquiring Bridges’ services and even offered four future first-round picks to the Suns before they ultimately pulled the trigger on the KD exchange.
With this, it should come as no surprise that Memphis still may have its eye on the tweener forward.
That said, with the way he managed to close out the 2022-23 season as a member of the Nets, Marks and company should strongly consider doing everything in their power to hold onto the former lottery pick for the foreseeable future.
During his 27-game stint with the franchise during the regular season, Bridges went on to post astounding averages of 26.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.0 steals, and just over half a block while shooting 47.5 percent from the field and 37.6 percent from deep.
He would continue with his stellar play during the club’s first-round playoff bout against the heavily favored Philadelphia 76ers by putting up averages of 23.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.0 assists on 40.0 percent shooting from distance.
In his first shot serving as an NBA ball club’s top option whilst literally learning on the fly, Bridges proved to be a remarkable two-way asset that any team would be thrilled to build a foundation around.
The Nets are the ones who have this luxury within their possession and they should do everything in their power to hold onto it.