Mikal Bridges Traded, “Villanova Knicks” in Full Effect

  • Brooklyn has traded forward Mikal Bridges to the rival New York Knicks for four unprotected first-round picks, and other assets.
  • Brooklyn also traded with Houston to get more draft picks, while the Knicks look to challenge for the NBA title with Bridges.
  • The “Villanova Knicks” are now in full effect, with Bridges joining former Villanova teammates Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart, and Donte DiVincenzo.

The New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets are NBA rivals in the “Big Apple”, but that didn’t stop them from doing business together late on Tuesday night, on June 26.

The Knicks have agreed on principle to acquire forward Mikal Bridges from the Nets for a slew of draft picks, including four unprotected first-round picks, along with others, as reported by Adrian Wojnarowski. Brooklyn then traded with Houston to get back the picks they sent to the Rockets in the James Harden trade.

The main course of this trade is the Knicks getting Bridges, who is now reunited with former Villanova teammates Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart and Donte DiVincenzo.

Knicks Empty Cupboard of Picks for Bridges

The full slate of picks that the Knicks are sending to Brooklyn is as follows, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

  • Four unprotected first-round picks in 2025, 2027, 2029, and 2031.
  • A protected first-round pick in 2025 via Milwaukee
  • An unprotected pick swap in 2028
  • A 2025 second-round pick.

The Knicks also sent 35-year-old forward Bojan Bogdanović to Brooklyn. He was traded to the Knicks on February 8, then played the first four games of New York’s first-round series with Philadelphia but missed the rest of the postseason due to surgery on his left wrist and left foot.

Brooklyn also acquired 2025 and 2026 first-round picks from Houston for Phoenix’s 2025 and 2027 first-rounders, and a possible pick swap in 2029. With the Bridges trade, Brooklyn are firmly in rebuild mode and will have plenty of draft picks for the 2025 draft, which is expected to be fantastic.

Bridges averaged 19.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.6 assists last season, shooting 37.2% from three-point land. He was traded from Phoenix to Brooklyn on February 9, 2023, and averaged 26.1 points over the last 27 games of the season.

The Knicks now have the potential to put a quality duo of wing defenders on the court. They’re looking to re-sign OG Anunoby, who opted out of his contract for a bigger deal. With Bridges and Anunoby, the Knicks have two defenders who can lock up the opposition on the perimeter. New York also has Julius Randle, but if they re-sign Anunoby, they’ll likely look to move Randle.

The History of the “Villanova Knicks”

This also completes New York’s mission to create the “Villanova Knicks”. Bridges played at Villanova with current Knicks Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart, and Donte DiVincenzo. The four are all still close friends, as shown by this video call tweeted out by Hart after the trade was announced:

This group won the 2016 NCAA national title when Brunson and DiVincenzo were freshmen, while Bridges was a redshirt freshman and Hart was a junior. Hart had graduated by 2018, but Brunson, Bridges, and DiVincenzo won another national title that year before leaving for the NBA. All the Knicks need now is to hire Jay Wright to coach the team. However, they have an excellent coach in Tom Thibodeau.

NBA betting sites have the Knicks anywhere from +900 to +1000 to win the NBA title next season. They’re banking on the camaraderie of the Villanova crew to put them over the top in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks will have to go through the NBA champions from Boston, as well as Milwaukee and Philadelphia.

New York also has to work out their roster, including re-signing Anunoby and figuring out what to do with Randle. They are also trying to keep center Isaiah Hartenstein, who is an unrestricted free agent.

There’s a lot to figure out, but if the Knicks get it right, they will be a legit contender next year!

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About the Author
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Finn Archer
Finn is an experienced writer (having published articles under the name Phil Bowman) and longtime sports enthusiast based in Europe. His particular passion lies in soccer, as both a die-hard fan and seasoned bettor. That said, he’ll dabble in anything involving a ball, bat, or boxing gloves! He’s learned from his share of bad bets over the years and is keen to impart his wisdom so you don’t make the same mistakes. Since joining TSG, Finn has also gained valuable knowledge in the world of online casinos.

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