Scouting Report: Mikal Bridges

The college basketball season is almost upon us. Villanova returns a strong cast of players, despite the loss of Josh Hart. Mikal Bridges is a junior that averaged (per 40 minutes) 13 PPG, 2.6 APG, 2.2 SPG, and 6.1 RPG with just 1.7 TOPG on 55% shooting and 39% shooting from 3. More details on the long armed wing:

Height/Weight: 6’7/ 210

Wingspan: 7’1 

Position: SG/SF

College/ country: Villanova

Tools: Shooting, defense/ frame

Pros:

  • Elite shooter
  • Won defensive player of the year for Big East- tremendous defensive upside
  • Incredibly long arms
  • Shot could be quicker, but form is solid on jumper
  • Mostly a spot up shooter
  • Can guard both wings and guards

 

Cons:

  • Must quicken shot release
  • Ball handling isn’t bad, but not great
  • Doesn’t move a lot off ball- generally only moves when intent is to drive
  • Should add strength

 

Overall: Bridges likely would have been a late first round pick in 2017. Bridges has excellent tools that make up for a high floor, thanks to his 3&D potential. His shot is somewhat slow, but it was effective in college and his FT% was high, which is a good predictor for NBA shooting success. Bridges was the Big East defensive player of the year, and this last week coach Jay Wright called Bridges his best defensive player ever. However, offensively he still has a lot of work to do. For example, he may not be much more than a spot up shooter in the NBA early on due to his lack of excellent ball handling. He also must add strength in order to maintain his defensive prowess at the next level.

Bridges has incredible sleeper potential for this draft, as I see him going beyond pick 20 at the moment. His frame is similar to Caris Levert, but his game reminds me a lot of Wesley Matthews, but likely the Portland Trailblazers version. If Bridges begins to move more off ball, which is almost certain to happen in the NBA, he can become an even better spot up shooter.

 

NBA Comparison: Longer Wesley Matthews

 

Projected draft range: Late first- early second round

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