The Brooklyn Nets recently made it clear that their star forward, Mikal Bridges, will not be available in trade talks ahead of this month's deadline, according to the folks at The Athletic. With this, it looks like the 6-foot-6 wing will stay in the borough through the rest of the 2023-24 season.
Bridges has been a standout player with the organization since his arrival last February, however, this decision to make him untouchable is a mistake. GM Sean Marks is stripping his team of an opportunity, and the Nets are limiting themselves with this move.
The Nets need to go young, and Mikal Bridges is NOT
The Villanova product is 27 years old, which isn't exactly a young asset. The Nets have been directionless thus far, and keeping a player who isn't yet established or developing further emphasizes that.
The Nets are the definition of mediocre at 19-28, good for 11th in the Eastern Conference. If the season were to end today, they wouldn't even qualify for the Play-In Tournament, and to make things worse, they don't even own a pick in this year's draft.
Brooklyn has a talented young guard in Cam Thomas, along with other quality young ballers, so why would the franchise opt to pair them with seemingly limited veterans like Bridges and Ben Simmons if they aren't going to win?
It only hinders the growth of their farm system.
The Nets can get good value for their budding star forward
Bridges is averaging 21.9 points on 45.5% shooting, with a steal per game to go along with that. The six-year stud has an All-Defensive First Team appearance under his belt while shooting 36.9% from deep, making him a solid 3-and-D threat.
A vast majority of teams across the league could use for that brand of production, especially organizations looking to make a playoff push. If the Nets were to deal Bridges, they could get a lot of value, specifically picks, in return for his servives.
My guess is the asking price would be two first-round picks and a player, regardless of age.
If the Nets wanted to make an easy deal for Bridges, sending him to their cross-town rival could get them exactly what they wanted.
The Knicks have been looking to make another trade after dealing for OG Anunoby, but they have enough value to give Brooklyn a sufficient offer.
Quentin Grimes is a young player and Evan Fournier is a veteran, plus they have eight potential picks in the next two drafts. No doubt, they'd be interested in giving some of that up for Bridges.
Another team that could give up a handsome package for the forward is the Philadelphia 76ers, who are currently gearing up for a playoff run and trying to get over the hump.
The Sixers have picks to give up, especially being in win-now mode. These are just two teams out of many that could use Bridges' services.
Where would Brooklyn go from here?
The Nets are paying Bridges $21.7 million this season, and that only increases as the seasons go on. It doesn't make sense for the club to pay him big money when they aren't going anywhere with him at the helm.
Now, if Brooklyn were to acquire a star or two, that's a different story. However, let's be realistic -- who would want to join the Nets with this current roster?
If Brooklyn was smart, they would trade Bridges for youth/picks, do the same with other veterans, and start a rebuild with Marks knowing he has capital.
One can only dream.
Perhaps Brooklyn could deal Bridges for a high pick as we get closer to the draft, but as of right now, he remains untouchable.
Nets fans could argue that they don't want to rebuild again, but it's only pushing back the inevitable.