Nets' Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson are a package deal
Mikal Bridges took the trade hard.
It was draft night, 2018. Philadelphia selected him 10th overall. Great news for him. The 6-6 forward was from the area and had won two national titles at Villanova. But the news flash came quickly that the 76ers had shipped his rights to Phoenix, and Bridges was angry. But the two-way standout came to love it in Arizona.
Now let’s fast-forward to Thursday. It was trade deadline day.
Bridges got dealt after four-plus seasons, sent to the Nets with his pal, forward Cam Johnson, four first-round picks and a first-round pick swap. The Suns received Kevin Durant and T.J. Warren.
This time the reaction was more positive. There had been talk about Durant possibly going to Phoenix in the offseason, and Bridges and Johnson thought they could be headed here then. They even spoke about living in Brooklyn. And they would joke with each other, “At least we got us.” So this didn’t come as a total shock.
“KD, I get it; I 100% get it,” Bridges said Saturday night, sitting next to Johnson before they made their Nets debuts as starters in a 101-98 loss to Philadelphia. “I’d rather say I got traded for KD than probably somebody else that I didn’t think would be good. Just being a realist at the end of the day. . . . Maybe I probably would’ve made that trade, too.
“ . . . Obviously, we’re going to miss home. But it’s not like we’re not excited. I’m excited to be here.”
Bridges and Johnson have done just about everything together since Johnson came to Phoenix as a first-rounder in 2019. Teammate Deandre Ayton tagged them with a nickname — “Twins.”
Bridges scored 23 points in this first game. Johnson added 12.
“At least,” Bridges said, “I’ve got my twin with me.”