As a freshman at Villanova, Mikal Bridges was a key contributor off the bench for a team that won its first national championship in over three decades. Fast forward to 2018, and as a starter, Bridges was once again an integral part of another Villanova title, as the 6’7” wing scorched the nets from downtown in the NCAA tournament. After accomplishing a lot at Villanova, Bridges is entering the draft and skipping his senior season. He enters the draft as one of the best “3&D” prospects in the class and looks to make an impact wherever he lands.
Bridges was able to improve statisically over his three season in Philadelphia. After averaging just over 6.0 points per game and not starting for Jay Wright’s Wildcats, he averaged 17.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.1 blocks per game his junior season. Bridges shot over 51 percent from the field 43.5 percent from beyond the arc on a good amount of attempts.
What I like most, though, is how good he is defensively. The Hornets have lacked a player that has the skill set of Bridges for a few seasons now. There are a lot of players on the team that are pretty good on one side of the ball. For example, Jeremy Lamb is a solid scorer but not so solid defensively. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is a very potent defender and takes the assignment of guarding the opponents best player, but despite his best efforts offensively, he can’t shoot past 17 feet. This is where Bridges would come in for the Hornets. New head coach James Borrego could play him at the two or the three depending on matchups. He’d be a rotational player from the start, and then when the time is right, he could be inserted into the starting lineup. At his position, some of the best players in the history of basketball have dominated the NBA for a long time. LeBron James and Kevin Durant are the two best at the small forward position, but teams won’t be asking Bridges to be them. They’re just going to demand that Bridges stays true to his own game.
Overall, Mikal Bridges would be an excellent fit in Charlotte. Alongside Kemba Walker and Nicolas Batum, Bridges could be part of a formidable trio of scorers and playmakers. However, that’s assuming he is still available. He could be as high as a Top 10 pick and he’s played well enough to justify that. While Bridges would be really good with the Hornets, the organization will have to hope that he drops a little bit so that he could potentially fall into Mitch Kupchak and Michael Jordan’s hands. Nonetheless, I think Bridges will do really well in the NBA wherever he goes.