1. Mikal Bridges
At this point, everyone familiar with the current landscape of the league should know just how special of a talent Mikal Bridges is.
Selected 10 overall back in the 2018 NBA Draft, since truly coming into his own in year three the forward finds himself posting impressive averages of 16.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.1 steals, and just shy of a block on 50.6 percent shooting from the field and 39.1 percent shooting from deep.
Even the Grizzlies themselves are seemingly convinced he could be a superstar in the making, as reports have surfaced that the franchise offered up a whopping four first-round picks to his former employers, the Phoenix Suns, for his services at last year’s trade deadline.
Ultimately, Memphis’ pursuits failed, as the forward was shipped out to the Brooklyn Nets where he only managed to grow his brand by posting sensational averages of 26.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.0 steals, and over half a block on 47.5 percent shooting from the floor and 37.6 percent from distance.
With this, there’s no doubt that his mid-season rise in production played a major role in his No. 31 rank on ESPN’s latest list. However, to do so based on just half a campaign’s worth of having him serve as a team’s go-to option seems to be rather premature and similar, albeit a bit different considering his already established experience in the league, to the argument previously made when discussing Banchero.
Based on what we’ve seen, the sky seems to truly be the limit for the likes of Bridges, and, in the future, even as high as a top-20 spot on these rankings could very well be a realistic outcome.
That being said, to put him over an established superstar who’s only now entering his prime at this point in time is a wildly unjust move by the publication.