NBA Trades: 3 'X-factor' moves to transform the Knicks

Mikal Bridges (pictured) versus Philadelphia 76ers
Mikal Bridges (pictured) versus Philadelphia 76ers / G Fiume/GettyImages
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1A) Acquire Mikal Bridges

The potential Julius Randle 'upgrades'. Say hello to Mikal Bridges and Karl-Anthony Towns. A 'down-the-street', Nets-Knicks trade seems unlikely, especially involving both Mikal Bridges and Julius Randle. If the Knicks were to lose Anunoby in free agency, though, they would have to explore external options to replace his impact. A player of near identical defensive capabilities, but a higher offensive upside, getting Bridges with possibly Dorian Finney-Smith would recoup New York's roster.

Bridges sent to Brooklyn in the Kevin Durant trade to Phoenix. After spending his whole career as a highly impactful, two-way, 'three-and-D' caliber wing, Bridges got the keys to the Nets franchise. In 27 games with Brooklyn in 2022-23, Bridges averaged a whopping 26 points, five rebounds, and three assists per game, shooting 48 percent, 38 from three, and 89 percent from the free throw line. Efficiency has always been the name of the game for Bridges, and in a reduced role, he'd thrive.

Bridges' numbers took a big hit this season, partially due to Cam Thomas' breakout season. Bridges shot just 43 percent from the field but still averaged 20 points, five rebounds, and four assists per game. Bridges still shot an efficient 38 percent from three, but his free throw percentage dipped from nearly 90 percent to 81 percent. While Anunoby has durability concerns, Bridges is by far more reliable, playing in 82, 73, 72, 82, 83, and 82 regular season games over his career thus far.

A package for Bridges is going to warrant a haul, considering Brooklyn reportedly declined a trade last year for him that included four first-round picks. With New York's 15 first-round picks from this year's draft to 2030, the Knicks have the necessary assets to acquire nearly any player that becomes available. Bridges will be entering year three of his four-year, $91 million contract. If the Knicks retain Anunoby, they may retool their frontcourt by moving Randle for another prolific shooting big.