The Philadelphia 76ers selected Mikal Bridges in the 2018 NBA draft with the No. 10 overall pick.
He's coming off a breakout season and national championship with Villanova. Always known for his defense, Bridges' offensive game took off, turning him into a lottery pick for his valuable three-and-D and potential to continue improving as a scorer.
Weight: 210 pounds
Wingspan: 7' ½"
Pro-player comparison: Otto Porter/Trevor Ariza
A smooth athlete with textbook size for a wing, Bridges aces the eye test, which he backed up by ranking first in the country in points per possession (minimum 500 possessions). He ranked in the 90th percentile or better in spot-ups, transition, pick-and-roll ball-handling, cuts and offense off screens. Bridges' core strength is his jumper, which connected on 104 threes at a 43.5 percent clip. But he also shot 59.3 percent inside the arc, taking quality shots the defense gave him. Bridges isn't a true one-on-one scorer, but he wisely picks his spots and knows how to convert as a complementary weapon who doesn't need dribbles.
Despite raising his average to 17.7 points per game, Bridges only totaled 25 points out of isolation in 40 games. He's made strides as a shot-creator, but it's not a strength, and for a wing turning 22 years old in August, it's fair to question if he'll ever be a player teams can go to in the half court. He also lacks playmaking ability, having averaged just 1.9 assists in 32.1 minutes.
Quick, long and consistently engaged, Bridges is a strong one-on-one defender. Capable of locking down, he can also guard positions 1-4, with enough size and length to defend forwards and the lateral foot speed to stick with wings or ball-handlers. He averaged 1.5 steals and 1.1 blocks, a reflection of his defensive playmaking. Along with his shooting, Bridges' potential to be the top perimeter defender in his class plays to his perceived high floor.
Bridges is ready to contribute in a supporting role playing to his strengths. He won't generate his own offense right away, nor will he be asked to. He'll work mostly off the ball out of spot-ups as a catch-and-shooter or line-drive attacker. And he'll add immediate value defensively with the versatility to cover multiple positions. Bridges' rookie numbers won't be big, but he'll be efficient and play between 20-25 minutes a game.
Projected role: High-end role player
Unless Bridges' offensive game blooms late the way Victor Oladipo's did, he's most likely to fall under the same category of impact small forwards as Otto Porter and Trevor Ariza—valued, high-end role players who aren't top-two options.