Summer is underway, folks, and we have our first real NBA off-season blockbuster.
Initially reported by Adrian Wojnarowski late this Tuesday night, the New York Knicks have agreed to a stunning deal with their cross-town rivals, the Brooklyn Nets. Star wing Mikal Bridges is headed across the river to the Knickerbockers in exchange for a plethora of draft picks and Bojan Bogdanović.

One of the most prominently followed and beloved storylines on the Knicks and across the entire NBA in the past year has been the reunion of three Villanova teammates in New York. Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart, and Donte DiVincenzo all played huge roles in the Knicks’ most fruitful season in years.


Now, with this trade, another former Villanova star who was part of the squad that won a national championship with the school in 2016 has joined the squad in Manhattan after months of the original New York-Villanova three asking – both jokingly and sincerely – for Bridges to come across the river for an even bigger reunion.


Drafted 10th overall in 2018, Mikal Bridges spent the first five years of his career in Phoenix, finding some success and finishing second in Defensive Player of the Year voting in the 2021-2022 season. He was then dealt to Brooklyn as part of the Kevin Durant trade towards the end of the 2022-2023 season. In 27 games with Brooklyn to wrap up that season, Bridges averaged 26.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game as the Nets finished 6th in the East before falling in the first round to Philidelphia.

Bridges became the 42nd player in NBA history to play at least 83 games in a regular season that year due to the timing of the trade. In the 2023-2024 season, Bridges had 19.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game as the Nets missed the play-in, finishing 11th in the East with a 32-50 record.

According to Ian Begley, Mikal Bridges’ side was prepared to force the trade to the Knicks, as he made it clear he intended to sign with New York and was looking to use that as leverage against being traded to any other team. Bridges will make $23.3 million in 2024-2025 and $24.9 million in the final year of his contract in 2025-2026. As of October 1st, he will be eligible to sign a two-year extension and an additional three years worth $113 million in six months.


How Much Did the Knicks Give Up?

This was a blockbuster deal and a stunner, and the Knicks had to give up A LOT to get it done. In total, the Knicks dealt away Bojan Bogdanovic, four unprotected first-round picks (2025, 2027, 2029, 2031), a 2025 protected first-round pick via the Milwaukee Bucks, a 2028 unprotected pick swap, and a 2025 second-rounder to Brooklyn, sources have reported.

In addition to Bridges, the Knicks are also acquiring a 2026 second-rounder from the Nets.

Instant Reactions

Josh Hart immediately tweeted in response to the news in celebration, as did Jalen Brunson, and we can expect Donte DiVincenzo and every other Knick to do so soon. Mikal Bridges tweeted, “This is crazy, lol.” Photos have also been posted on social media of the four former Villanova teammates on FaceTime, celebrating the news. This is a move that warrants celebration for the Knicks front office, but little rest is expected as they continue to move forward and look to improve the restore even more as they prepare to push for a championship in the 2024-2025 season.

The NBA Draft begins tomorrow night in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and the Knicks hold the 24th, 25th, and 38th picks overall. Leon Rose and the rest of New York’s front office have decisions to make. Will they use their picks to get some young talent in the draft? Or will they look to move them in another big trade?

What Does This Mean For Anunoby? And Everyone Else?

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Knicks are “still determined to keep OG Anunboby in free agency.” However, “the ability to resign center Isaiah Hartenstein becomes more difficult now.” This big move also comes among the flurry of rumors in the past week that New York is looking to move center Mitchell Robinson in a potential trade, but that attitude may change now if they are unable to resign Hartenstein. There will also certainly be some speculation on whether this spells out bad news for Randle’s time on the Knicks, but there have been no reports to indicate anything of that nature yet.

Simply put, if the Knicks are able to retain OG Anunoby, they will have two of the best two-way wings in the entire NBA next season with him and Bridges. Adrian Wojnarowski put it very well as he tweeted, “The Knicks are loading up on wings to match up with the NBA champion Boston Celtics.”

Thank you, Bojan Bogdanovic

As we welcome a new face to the Garden, we say goodbye to an old one. Bojan Bogdanović brought energy and sharp shooting off the bench after New York acquired him at the trade deadline, and was able to make a big impact in the Knicks first-round series victory over the Philidelphia 76ers before going down with a foot injury, and succumbing to the wrist injury he was already battling and valiantly playing through. While in the end, he was only a rental, New York appreciates what he gave to the team and hopes all the best for him going forward with the Nets. Thank you for your service, Bojan!


WELCOME TO NEW YORK, MIKAL BRIDGES

Mikal Bridges has never missed a game in his college and NBA career. This is an incredible deal that the Knicks’ front office was able to pull off, putting the Knicks in the best position they’ve been in to win a championship in decades. Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart, Donte DiVincenzo, and Mikal Bridges, who won a national championship in Villanova in 2016, are now reunited on a championship contender in the New York Knickerbockers. The team chemistry in New York was incredible in 2023-2024 and now is sure to skyrocket even more.

But rest assured, the Knicks are likely not close to being done. With three draft picks and more assets, they will look to potentially leverage into being able to acquire more winning players; this offseason will continue to be crucial and interesting for the Knicks as they look to push for their first NBA title in 52 years.

Mikal Bridges is a winning player who is sure to fit perfectly into the culture that Tom Thibodeau and the New York Knicks have masterfully cultivated over the last few years of magical basketball that’s been played in the World’s Most Famous Arena and everywhere else these Knicks have gone to play and continue to make their mark.


The Knickerbockers front office had to give up a lot of valuable assets to make this happen, but it’s clear that they’re going all in to break the drought and bring New York a title. Mikal Bridges can now cross the bridge and join his former Villanova teammates.
The city will be thrilled to see him in orange and blue next season, and the New York Knicks will try to win it all.

PHOTO: Fadeaway World

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