Update: Apologies to the loyal Brew Hoop patrons who saw us incorrectly switch up our Bridges at the number eight spot, as Miles Bridges was incorrectly written about as opposed to the real winner Mikal Bridges. We’re rectifying that issue now with this fresh post about the proper #8 selection in your community draft board, the smooth stroking shooter out of Villanova. Now, back to your regularly scheduled scouting report.
Measuring out at 6’7” with a 7’2” wingspan, Bridges is essentially the stereotype for a 3-and-D wing in today’s NBA. His shooting ability improved over his three years at Villanova, to the point he was connecting on 43.5% of his 6.0 attempts per game last season. That’s a remarkable clip and massive improvement from the year prior (39.3%) considering he attempted roughly half as many shots from deep. That length also gives him the advantage over smaller defenders, as his high release point means he should rarely worry about being blocked at the next level.
While his handle isn’t that tight, he is adept at running off screens and working off ball. He squares to the basket quickly to pull the trigger, showing off the form that resulted in such impressive shooting numbers last year. In addition, his defensive promise is obvious. His size means he can envelop smaller players with his wingspan, cutting off passing lanes and forcing turnovers from players who aren’t sure-handed dribblers. He plays well off-ball too, eliminating the next pass on the perimeter and generally acting as a menace. His smaller size means he may not be as suited to tackling guys in the post, but he can still try to deny entry passes with his length.
The Stepien talks at length about his promise as a team defender, a trait Milwaukee knows all too well given the difficult communication skills required the past few seasons. It also name-drops Khris Middleton as a potential upside for Bridges, a comparison that seemed to make more sense the more I learned about him. While his pull-up game remains somewhat in its infancy, if he can advance to that stage as an isolation scorer to complement his catch-and-shoot ability, he has the chance to become the prominent bucket-getter Middleton’s morphed into.
Bridges has far more impressive statistics than Middleton coming out of school and contributed to two championships. His age (he turns 22 this August) is likely holding him back from rocketing up anywhere near the top of the lottery, but some team is betting that his high floor still has raised ceilings.
Brew Hoop Community Draft Board Rankings
1. Deandre Ayton - C, Arizona (The Stepien Profile)
2. Luka Doncic - PG, Real Madrid (The Stepien Profile)
3. Marvin Bagley III - C, Duke (The Stepien Profile)
4. Jaren Jackson Jr. - PF/C, Michigan State (The Stepien Profile)
5. Mohamed Bamba - PF/C Texas (The Stepien Profile)
6. Michael Porter Jr. - PF, Mizzou (The Stepien Profile)
7. Trae Young - PG, Oklahoma (The Stepien Profile)
8. Mikal Bridges - SF/PF, Villanova (The Stepien Profile)