NBA Trades: Grading the jaw-dropping Knicks-Nets blockbuster trade

New York Knicks v Brooklyn Nets
New York Knicks v Brooklyn Nets / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages
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New York Knicks: A-

The New York Knicks have been building a treasure trove of draft picks waiting for the right moment to cash in their chips. After passing up on multiple opportunities to acquire a superstar player, general manager Leon Rose finally decided to go all-in, trading for Mikal Bridges from the Brooklyn Nets.

While he relinquished a substantial number of draft picks and essentially mortgaged the team's future on this trade, it may very well be worth it. Not only is he a perfect fit for Tom Thibodau’s system and has chemistry with some of the team’s key players already, but he also fills a few key needs for the Knicks as well. 

The Knicks solved its two biggest problems with one move. Last season, the Knicks struggled to generate offense outside of Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle. It's been an issue for a while, but it was even more glaring in Randle’s absence. With Randle sidelined with a shoulder injury, the Knicks relied heavily on Brunson to create for himself and everyone else on the roster, and the offense suffered greatly whenever he got the rare chance to catch his breath on the bench. 

The other significant issue the Knicks were faced with was a lack of depth and durable players. They played a large portion of the regular season with a depleted roster and by the time they were eliminated from the playoffs by the Indiana Pacers, half the roster was injured. Josh Hart was playing through an abdominal strain and Jalen Brunson broke his hand in Game 7 versus the Pacers, and OG Anunoby, Julius Randle, Bojan Bogdanovic, Mitchell Robinson were all already sidelined.

New York sorely needed a durable player capable of creating his shot and Bridges checks both of those boxes. During his time on the other side of the Brooklyn Bridge, he proved he could create off the dribble and wasn’t just a three-and-d player. Just as consequential, he’s never missed a game through the first six years of his career. His ability to play tough defense while avoiding injury would be a welcome addition to any team let alone one that was ravaged by the injury bug last season.

It also doesn’t hurt that Bridges is on a super team-friendly contract, owed just $48.2 million over the next two years, and has previously experienced success playing with Hart, Brunson, and Donte DiVincenzo winning a National Championship at Villanova together. The only pushback on this trade would be the amount of draft capital they gave up to acquire Bridges.

If they can muster at least one championship out of this deal, nobody in Knicks Nation will be complaining. If not, this trade will be viewed in the same light as when the Nets traded for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in 2013.