Nets and Knicks kick off 2024 NBA Draft with massive, complicated Mikal Bridges trade

The Nets have regained control of their future heading into the 2024 NBA Draft by making two massive deals on the eve of the big day.

In the first, Brooklyn will send Mikal Bridges to reunite with his Villanova buddies across the city with the New York Knicks in exchange for FIVE first-round picks, a pick swap and a second-rounder, and in another, they will get their own 2026 first-rounder back from the Houston Rockets for a hefty price.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN was all over the news:

Our own Anthony Puccio of Nets Daily noted that the Bridges trade is historic not just for the treasure trove Brooklyn got back, but as the first trade since the two franchises started sharing a city:

As Woj noted, the biggest takeaway from all these musical chairs is that Brooklyn has now retaken control of its future to a greater degree. With their 2026 pick back from the Rockets — it was originally sent out in their deal for James Harden, who has since (in)famously been traded two more times — the Nets can freely tank and not have to worry about sending a potentially valuable future pick to the Rockets.

For examples of the possible ramifications of this, one only needs to look at the draft tomorrow: Houston has the No. 3 pick in this draft because the Nets weren’t good enough around Bridges to avoid giving up lottery picks as part of the ongoing Harden deal fallout, so they sold one of the NBA’s most valuable role players for more picks while reclaiming their ability to get the benefits of being bad.

The price they paid to the Rockets for that right was steep — more complicated multi-team pick swaps, and a Suns first-rounder that could be gold if that team continues its expensive implosion, but ultimately likely… nets… out as a win for Brooklyn because it allowed them to get a haul for Bridges from the Knicks without having to worry they would just send a valuable pick to Houston as part of a lengthy rebuild.

For the Knicks, this a steep price that massively cuts into their war chest of assets, but it may be worth it to add Bridges to their core of Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart and Donte DiVincenzo as the final Villanova infinity stone. With Julius Randle’s contract still available to use in deals and OG Anunoby’s future increasingly uncertain — even with Woj noting New York still wants to keep him — it remains to be seen how strong this Knicks foundation can be.

Still, it’s hard not to imagine a devastatingly dangerous team if Bridges — a notorious NBA ironman — can hold up under Thibs’ infamous minutes loads after watching how well they did without that perfect type of 3-and-D wing in the 2024 NBA playoffs while dealing with so many injuries. This could be an NBA Finals team with a bit of luck and some more smart moves.

Or, as Posting and Toasting put it…

For Houston? It seems like the goal is still in flux, and as usual for the Rockets, perpetually chaotic: Trying to get Kevin Durant. Yes, seriously.

The ramifications of this huge, complex deal will surely continue to trickle out, but for now, beyond Brooklyn taking back control of its own destiny, only one thing is clear: If these are the fireworks teams are setting off on the eve of the draft, the next week of draft and free agency madness promises to be explosive.

This breaking news story may be updated as it continues to develop. Follow Nets Daily, The Dream Shake and Posting and Toasting for the latest on the Nets, Rockets and Knicks angles of all this, respectively.

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