By Melody Miller

Mikal Bridges played ay Great Valley High in Malvern.

He won two national championships at Villanova.

His mom worked for the Sixers.

When he was available at No. 10 for the Sixers to draft in 2018, it felt like the perfect fit — for about a half hour.

After selecting him with the 10th-overall pick, the Sixers, in one of the team’s most infamous draft day decisions, traded Bridges to the Suns on draft night for Zhaire Smith and a 2021 first-round pick (that was later sent to the Clippers in the Tobias Harris trade). Bridges blossomed into one of the NBA’s best defenders and rising stars, and Smith played just 13 games with the Sixers.

The Nets would like to see if Jordi Fernandez can help Bridges regain the form that he had to end the 2022-23 season (when he averaged 26.1 points per game in the regular season and 23.5 points per game in the playoffs against the Sixers), but they would also want to see if Bridges can grow with emerging young guard Cam Thomas.

Brooklyn has made it clear multiple times in the past that Bridges is not available for trades, but they will eventually have to consider if Bridges fits the timeline of the rest of the team if Brooklyn does not fast-track this rebuilding process by trading for a star-level player.

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