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HomeBasketball TodayJazz Jazzed Up About Nets' Mikal Bridges, But Here's the Twist

Jazz Jazzed Up About Nets’ Mikal Bridges, But Here’s the Twist

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It’s been reported that the Brooklyn Nets aren’t taking calls on potential deals for 27-year-old swingman Mikal Bridges, who the Nets acquired only a year ago in the deal with the Suns that sent Kevin Durant to Phoenix. On one hand, it’s understandable that the Nets would be hesitant to move Bridges. In his seven-year NBA career, Bridges has proven to be remarkably durable — he’s led the NBA in games played four times, and has played in all 47 games the Nets have played so far this season — and in Brooklyn, he’s shown that he’s capable of handling more of a scoring burden than he was ever asked to in his four and a half seasons with the Suns.

On the other hand, as nice of a player as Mikal Bridges is, an optimistic ceiling for him would be something along the lines of reliable #2 on a great team. Making Bridges “untouchable” in trade talks would be foolish of the Nets, especially when so many teams possess a staggering amount of draft capital and may be willing to part ways with some of it at the NBA Trade Deadline in order to acquire him.

One of those teams with a staggering amount of draft capital is the Utah Jazz, who thanks to timely deals that sent Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell packing ahead of the 2022-23 season, own more 1st round draft picks over the next five years than any team other than the Oklahoma City Thunder. Despite the fact that Utah appears to be destined to top out as a Play-In team this year, it’s not stopping them from sniffing around at a possible deal for Bridges, with the Trade Deadline less than one week away.

Read also:   Knicks Fans Lose It as Team Embraces No. 2 Spot in East

“The Jazz, sources say, called the Nets to inquire about Mikal Bridges, though they found the same impossibly high bar to clear in return,” according to Matt Moore of The Action Network. Moore continued, reiterating what Utah’s interest in Bridges seems to suggest: “Utah seems to be pursuing upgrades to the roster and not rebuilding moves.”

With the expiring contracts of Kelly Olynyk and Talen Horton-Tucker, the Jazz would be able to match the salary of Bridges. And with multiple 1st round picks at their disposal in 2025, 2026, 2027, 2028 AND 2029, why wouldn’t the Nets take a listen to the Jazz — no pun intended — if Utah were willing to make a Godfather offer? Bridges certainly makes the Jazz more intriguing in both the short-term and the long-term, but is he enough of a needle mover that Danny Ainge would be inclined to part ways with many of those draft assets he accumulated in the deals for Mitchell and Gobert?

We won’t have to wait long to get those answers.

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