The decision to trade Mikal Bridges to the Knicks has prompted the Brooklyn Nets to begin a rebuilding phase, though the general manager believes it will be relatively short-lived

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Mikal Bridges (NBA)

When the Brooklyn Nets made their first trade with local rivals, the New York Knicks, in forty years, they sent away their top all-around player, Mikal Bridges.

Bridges was a crucial player the Nets acquired when they traded Kevin Durant to Phoenix in 2023. His outstanding performance helped them reach the playoffs that spring.

This time, no key players were exchanged. The trade with the Knicks focused solely on gathering draft picks for future success.

So, the Nets are entering a rebuilding phase, but general manager Sean Marks doesn’t expect it to last long. “This rebuilding process, do I think it will take time? I mean, we’ll be strategic about it,” Marks said Monday.

“But being in this market, with this many draft assets, we’ve done it before. So, while I don’t expect it to be rushed, I also don’t think it will be a lengthy process.”

The trade was agreed upon shortly before last month’s NBA draft and finalized on Saturday. The Nets acquired the Knicks’ first-round picks in 2025, 2027, 2029, and 2031, the option to swap first-round picks in 2028, a first-round pick from Milwaukee next year, and a second-round pick in 2025.

Mikal Bridges gestures to the crowd after scoring a basket

Having four first-round picks in what’s anticipated to be a strong 2025 draft class looks promising on paper, but it might not translate to immediate success on the court or in the standings until then.

Especially considering that just three years ago, when Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden were in Brooklyn, the Nets had their sights set on multiple championships.

“I think as an organization, you have to evaluate your direction and decide what’s the best way forward for us, and how can we achieve sustainable success,” Marks said.

“So when you’re able to acquire that many draft picks over the past year, I believe it will benefit our long-term goals.”

Bridges averaged 26.1 points after joining the Nets in 2023, but that dropped to 19.6 in 2023-24 as the team finished 32-50 and missed the playoffs.

Marks clarified that trading Bridges wasn’t due to his performance and dismissed rumors that Bridges had asked to be traded.

“There have been reports that Mikal wanted to leave or requested a trade. That is completely untrue,” Marks said. “That’s not who Mikal is, and that simply did not happen. I informed him when I called him that we were close to finalizing the deal.”

This trade, the first between the teams since 1983, reunites Bridges with former Villanova teammates Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart, and Donte DiVincenzo in New York, potentially making the Knicks a strong team in the Eastern Conference.

Meanwhile, just a few miles away, the Nets could struggle under new coach Jordi Fernandez in his first season.

Mikal Bridges (NBA)

Marks mentioned that during negotiations with Fernandez, he discussed the possibility of trading Bridges and focusing on building through the draft. He also kept Nic Claxton informed before re-signing the center.

When Marks was hired in 2016, the Nets didn’t have many valuable draft picks because they had traded them to Boston in 2013 to bring Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Brooklyn. That trade allowed the Celtics to draft Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, who became key players in their recent NBA championship.

Now, the Nets have draft picks and salary cap space. However, they no longer have a player as talented as Bridges.

“It was a tough decision because Mikal has been a central figure for our organization since we traded for him last year,” Marks said.

“So, it wasn’t an easy choice, but when you receive an offer like the one from New York, I think it puts us on a clear path to continue building this team for long-term success, and that’s our main goal here.”


By Brian Anderson

Hi myself Brian, I am a second-year student at Symbiosis Centre of Management Studies, Noida, pursuing a BBA degree. I am a multi-faceted individual with a passion for various hobbies, including cricket, football, music, and sketching. Beyond my hobbies, I possess a keen interest in literature, particularly fictional books, and channels my creativity into content writing. I am constantly exploring the realms of both business administration and the world of imagination through my diverse pursuits.

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