The Phoenix Suns did Mikal Bridges dirty

Phoenix Suns Mikal Bridges (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns Mikal Bridges (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Phoenix Suns should have either played Mikal Bridges more or not played him at all. Opening night was unfair to the young wing.

Trading for Mikal Bridges was a strange move for the Phoenix Suns, as we’ve talked about many times before. But one would think giving up so many assets for a player would mean having confidence that player is someone who helps the team or, with a young guy like Bridges, at least being willing to give him chances to play and become that guy.

But in the first game of the season, Bridges didn’t see the floor until there were 11.5 seconds left with the Suns up 21, and he didn’t even touch the ball. That’s unfair to Bridges in quite a few ways, most obviously the lack of playing time.

Bridges might not be as good as Trevor Ariza, Josh Jackson, or T.J. Warren right now, but the team drafted him knowing very well they were overstocked at wing. Bridges is one of the older players in the draft and largely considered an NBA-ready prospect. He would have a chance to start on some teams, and he’d at least crack the rotation in Philly, the team who originally drafted him.

It’s unfair to a top ten pick with so much potential for the team to not find a way to get him on the court. And more than just unfair, it’s not smart. The Phoenix Suns made it clear on draft night they think extremely highly of Mikal Bridges, so why wouldn’t they want to play him? Did they change their minds about him?

Then there’s the real reason it’s disrespectful to Bridges. If he didn’t play at all this game then so be it. There’s no doubt he’ll find playing time soon. But rather than just leaving him out, the Suns used him as a tool to let Devin Booker get a standing ovation when all that was left to do was hold onto the ball.

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Because of that, in 20, 40, 60 years when Mikal Bridges is asked about his first game, which should be a special moment in any player’s career, he’ll be telling people he put up all zeros in the stat sheet. The Phoenix Suns did Mikal Bridges dirty on opening night.