Suns acquire G Mikal Bridges in NBA Draft-day swap with Sixers
The Phoenix Suns traded the No. 16 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Zhaire Smith, and the 2021 pick owed to them via Miami to acquire Villanova swingman Mikal Bridges, who was selected No. 10 by the Philadelphia 76ers.
Phoenix drafted and agreed to deal Texas Tech guard Zhaire Smith, who was selected at No. 16.
Both picks sent to Philadelphia from Phoenix were acquired from the Heat in the Suns’ trade of Goran Dragic in 2015. The pick the Sixers used to selected Bridges was a pick originally owned by the Lakers that was sent to Phoenix in the 2012 Steve Nash deal and then sent to Philadelphia in the Suns’ acquisition of Brandon Knight — the Knight deal came the same trade deadline day as the Dragic deal.
Bridges was considered a favorite by Philadelphia at No. 10, as was Smith. At Villanova, he developed into one of the nation’s best 3-and-D wings by averaging 17.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game as a junior during the Wildcats’ national championship run.
The 6-foot-7 swingman shot 51 percent from the field and 44 percent from three while taking 6.0 attempts from deep per game.
By scoring 1.22 points per possession last season, Bridges led the NCAA field in scoring efficiency ahead of the first overall pick, Arizona center Deandre Ayton, who scored 1.16 points per possession.
Bridges joins Ayton, French guard Elie Okobo (31st overall) and Colorado product George King (59th overall) in the Suns’ draft class.
Suns general manager Ryan McDonough was open about the possibility of the team being aggressive this offseason.
“If we could get into the late lottery or maybe the mid-lottery, that’s something we will definitely look at,” McDonough said during pre-draft workouts.
McDonough has made three draft-day trades in the past.
His most notable move was in the 2016 NBA Draft when he gave up the Nos. 13 and 28 picks, plus the rights to Bogdan Bogdanovic, to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for the No. 8 overall pick, which the Suns used to select Marquese Chriss.
In 2015, McDonough dealt the No. 44 overall selection — Andrew Harrison — to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Jon Leuer.
Lastly in 2013, McDonough moved up from No. 30 to 29th with cash in order to select Archie Goodwin.
The deal on Thursday saw the Suns essentially make a trade for a past deal.