NBA Trades: 5 superstars that teams will be lining up to trade for this summer

Karl-Anthony Towns, Trae Young, Desmond Bane, Zach LaVine, CJ McCollum
Karl-Anthony Towns, Trae Young, Desmond Bane, Zach LaVine, CJ McCollum / Jason Miller/GettyImages
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4) Mikal Bridges- Brooklyn Nets

Nicknamed “The Warden” because of his lockdown defense, Mikal Bridges arrived in New York City with a reputation as a durable, complementary three-and-d player. Upon his arrival in the Big Apple, Bridges was promoted to the lead act after spending the first four and a half years of his career in a supporting role with the Phoenix Suns. 

Bridges has expanded his offensive game in his new role and is quickly blossoming into one of the best two-way players in the league. Immediately after being traded to the Brooklyn Nets at last season’s trade deadline, there was a major uptick in the Warden’s scoring, averaging 26.1 points per game over the last 27 games of the season compared to 17.2 points per game in 57 games with the Suns. 

In 97 games with the Nets, Bridges is averaging 22.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 3.4 assists in 34.9 minutes per game, along with impressive shooting splits of.450,.369, and.841. This level of production was unexpected when the Nets traded for the 6’6” wing and he’s doing all this while being the main focal point of opposing defenses for the first time in his career. 

Here’s a fun fact about Bridges: he’s played in every game of his career since being drafted in 2018. He’s only 27 years old and playing on an extremely team-friendly contract, making $22.7 million this year, which ranks 30th among all forwards in the league and 79th in the entire NBA. Unfortunately, the Nets have a paltry 38-59 record and multiple head coaches since acquiring Bridges.

As long as Brooklyn continues to operate like a headless and directionless franchise, expect rival executives looking to take another step toward lifting the Larry O'Brien trophy, to circle like sharks waiting to snatch Bridges away.