The Phoenix Suns joined the chaos on Thursday night by trading the No. 16 pick in this year’s draft and the 2021 Miami Heat first-rounder for Mikal Bridges.
Bridges was originally picked at No. 10 by Philadelphia after being linked to the franchise throughout the pre-draft process. But when it came time for the Suns to pick, Phoenix ultimately selected Zhaire Smith for the 76ers and packaged him along with the Heat pick to grab Bridges.
The Suns were linked to Smith and Aaron Holiday throughout the process, working out both in Phoenix before the draft. They were not reported to have worked out Bridges.
The Villanova wing is one of the best pure 3-and-D prospects in this draft class, a versatile shooter and long defender who will help the Suns immediately. He is better than any option facing the Suns at 16, but the Miami pick was also one of the best assets in the Suns’ basket.
The first questions facing the Suns will be about Bridges’ fit with Josh Jackson and how to handle the future of T.J. Warren.
The Suns had never picked at 16 in the history of the franchise, and the guy picked at 16 won’t end up in Phoenix after all.