It will be tough, but the Knicks should do everything possible to get Mikal Bridges in the Orange and Blue.

The Knicks’ fun and galvanizing season came to a disappointing end a few weeks ago with a Game 7 home loss to the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Despite the disappointing ending, they enjoyed an incredibly successful season that was eventually derailed by key injuries to Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson, OG Anunoby for stretches, and then ultimately, Jalen Brunson. Undoubtedly one of the most likable and successful Knicks teams of this generation won 50 games in the regular season and battled tooth and nail to the absolute end until they had nothing left to give. Although the ‘Bockers fell short of the ultimate goal, there is now tremendous hope and optimism for the future, and looking back, plenty of memories that made us fans tremendously proud to pull for them.

Clouded Judgement

The aforementioned wave of brutal injuries had a lot to do with why the Knicks couldn’t advance past the second round of the Playoffs and the burning question out there that we won’t get the answer to and only speculate on: Could the Knicks have won the Finals if fully healthy? While New York had an awesome season, their talent paled compared to the Celtics and Mavericks; those two teams will be fighting for the ‘chip this year. So my answer to that question would be no.

A chunk of Knicks fans would disagree and would prefer to run it back with the same crew, but, there needs to be (correct) pieces added to the fold if they intend to usurp the likes of Boston and other Western powers and have a chance to bring home the Larry O’Brien trophy for the first time since 1973. The good news is the chemistry is there, the coaching is there, and the grit defensively is there, but what is coming up a bit short is offensive juice and overall talent to put them over the hump. One guy who should be on everyone’s radar is Brooklyn Nets forward Mikal Bridges.

Manhattan Bridges

The soon-to-be 28-year-old Bridges is in the prime of his career, coming off of a good season on a subpar and directionless Nets team, which desperately needs a reboot to come back into the frame of relevance. Bridges, who is under contract through the ’25-’26 season is a prime candidate to be moved out of Brooklyn, as he can bring a huge return back as the Nets look to rebuild. Bridges, at 6’6″ is an outstanding perimeter defender and three-point shooter, knocking down, 37.5% of his career attempts from behind the arc, per ESPN Stats.

Frankly, he could be a good fit for any NBA team but would fit very well with the Knicks who desperately need secondary scoring. Bridges is not of the ilk to be considered a number one option on a championship team but he is a guy who can fit seamlessly into the Knicks and be a no. two or three in a role that would elevate the Knicks into the upper echelon of teams in the NBA.

Much is made about finding the right players while building a team and assembling using fit as a barometer for whether to bring a guy in over general talent. We’ve seen teams being thrown together with a mish-mosh of tremendous talent and no chemistry and they often come up very short of expectations. Leon Rose has done an outstanding job of building the Knicks and spending money and capital on players who work well together. This past season’s Knicks team seemed to all genuinely like each other and Bridges, due to the clear Villanova Connection and his overall adaptable personality, would fit right in and to boot, can give you 20-25 points per game.

If New York can bring in Mikal and resign OG Anunoby, you also have one of the best defensive backcourts in the NBA to go along with the offensive superstardom of Jalen Brunson, you might have yourself a championship-level perimeter battalion.

Getting Him Here

The difficulty of Mikal coming to the Knicks has some layers to it; one is he is under contract in Brooklyn, so you’d have to pay a hefty trade price tag to convince the Nets to pull the trigger. Secondly, we all know the Nets are the little brothers in town and aren’t willing to do the Knicks any favors so there’s a real possibility Brooklyn makes this difficult for the Knicks and tries to squeeze every asset out of them they possibly can.

If you can get a guy of Bridges’ caliber in here, you move mountains to do so, and thankfully the Knicks have some tradeable pieces and draft capital to make it work if the Nets are willing to engage. The asking price for Bridges would likely start at three first-round picks and a couple of good players, with that, the Nets can begin their rebuild with something concrete on their roster. Julius Randle’s name comes up a lot and he’d be the best the Knicks can offer, but would the Nets want to build around a 30-year-old forward, who is great, but isn’t a top-level star in this game and has been bitten by the injury bug a bit the last few seasons.

Brooklyn is in a tough spot because they need to recoup draft capital that they lost with their Harden, Kyrie, and Durant trades to begin their rebuild; they will likely want some foundational, proven pieces for the future. This in turn, puts the Knicks at a disadvantage because the reluctance of the Nets to do business with the Knicks is already there and, if they can’t offer what the Nets want, there are plenty of other teams that can give NBA-level talent on top of draft capital in exchange for Mikal.

This brings us to the most likely scenario for a three-team trade if this does go down, so everyone can get what they want but getting to that point will be a long and arduous road ahead.

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