#10 – Mikal Bridges – Philadelphia 76ers

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mikal bridges draft handshake

With the 10th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, the Philadelphia 76ers select Villanova forward Mikal Bridges.

20 minutes later they traded him to the Phoenix Suns for the draft rights to Zhaire Smith and a 2021 Miami HEAT unprotected first-round pick.

What appeared to be a storybook ending for Bridges turned upside down while he was in the middle of his media session in New York City, donning a Sixers’ draft hat and all.

Despite his move from Philly to Phoenix, Bridges is still coming off a season being named a third-team All-American and winning his second national championship under Jay Wright as a Wildcat. Bridges adds the ability to step in and contribute alongside already established Devin Booker and 2018 number one overall selection, DeAndre Ayton. Last season, Bridges shot 43.5 percent from beyond the arc, and was lauded as Villanova’s defensive specialist. Standing 6-foot-7 with a 7-foot-1 wingspan, Bridges possesses the ability to switch across multiple positions on the defensive end.

Going into next season, the Suns will feature a core of Booker, Ayton, Josh Jackson and a rangy Bridges as they look to move forward their rebuild process. With the scoring of Booker and Ayton, the defensive versatility of Jackson and Bridges, and cap space to boot, the Suns all of a sudden have one of the better looking young cores in the league.

Draft night in the NBA can be a whirlwind, Bridges learned the hard side of the business only 20 minutes into his new career.