Grade the Trade: Rockets finally land Mikal Bridges in insane proposal

Should the Houston Rockets spend a fortune on Mikal Bridges?
Should the Houston Rockets spend a fortune on Mikal Bridges? / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

An NBA player's trade value can be difficult to gauge.

Some players have obvious value. If Nikola Jokic were to request a trade, his value would be almost immeasurable. The Nuggets would receive two young stars and a mountain of draft capital.

Other players are more difficult to pin down. They may look overtaxed as featured options, but overqualified as role players. We're not sure what they ought to command on the open market.

Take Mikal Bridges of the Brooklyn Nets. There doesn't seem to be a firm consensus on his trade value. Recently, Bleacher Report suggested a trade that would send him to the Rockets if they landed the number one pick.

Houston Rockets pay a fortune for star wing


That is...a lot. It's a staggering amount.

It's far too much.

Sure, Bridges is a good player. When he was on the Phoenix Suns, he appeared to be one of the best 3-and-D wings in the NBA. Since landing on the Nets, he's been a primary offensive weapon.

Rockets fans know how that's been working out. They're about to land a lottery pick courtesy of Bridges' Nets. It seems evident that Bridges isn't a player who can carry a playoff-caliber offense.

So why would the Rockets pay this much for him?

Houston Rockets shouldn't go over market value for Bridges

Meanwhile, Bridges' defense has regressed with the Nets. It's safe to assume he doesn't have the same energy to give on that end of the floor with such an offensive burden.

Let's split the difference and assume that Bridges' optimal role is as an off-ball, 3-and-D wing who can generate from-scratch offense in a tertiary role. Isn't that roughly a description of O.G. Anunoby of the New York Knicks?

The Knicks sent an underperforming RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley to the Raptors in exchange for Anunoby. They sent out zero meaningful draft capital. Cameron Whitmore, the number one pick and two future firsts is a king's ransom in comparison.

Perhaps Bridges is a more dynamic offensive player than Anunoby. Let's say Whitmore and Quickley have roughly the same trade value. What's worth more - RJ Barrett, or the number one pick and two future firsts?

Could the Knicks have traded Barrett for the number one pick and two additional first-rounders? If you answer with anything short of an unequivocal and resounding no, congratulations - it must be nice to be a high-ranking member of the Raptors' front office.

If we were to play devil's advocate, we'd point out that the Rockets arguably benefit from getting away from Brooks' deal. Sure. That doesn't nearly justify forfeiting this many assets for a top-shelf role player.

Bridges would be a good player for the Rockets to acquire. They could justify sending the Nets Brooks, the number one pick and a protected future first. They could justify sending the number one pick and Cam Whitmore. Unfortunately, justifying this deal would verge on impossible.

Grade: D-