Phoenix Suns: 5 Underrated Transactions That Built This NBA Finals Team

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Phoenix Suns, Mikal Bridges
Phoenix Suns, Mikal Bridges (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns Underrated Transaction #1: Trading for the  No. 10 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft

The biggest news for the Suns out of the 2018 draft was their number one selection of Arizona big man Deandre Ayton. But later in the draft, Phoenix made a trade that would pay huge dividends as well.

Using the package they got for Goran Dragic three years earlier (Miami’s 16th pick in the 2018 draft and a future first in 2021), the Suns then traded for the 10th pick of the 2018 draft, which became Mikal Bridges via the Philadelphia 76ers.

After showing a lot of promise in his first two seasons, Bridges had his best campaign this year and broke out as premier wing player in the league with insane efficiency and elite defense. In the 2020-21 regular season, Bridges became one of four non-centers (Kevin Durant, Joe Harris, and Michael Porter Jr.) to average at least 13.0 points per game with a true shooting percentage at 66.0 percent or higher.

Defensively this year, Bridges’s 1.1 steals per game clocked in as the second most for the Suns. He nearly averaged a block per game as well, rejecting 0.9 shots per contest. That’s not too bad for a generally undersized forward, and collectively—not bad at all for two late first rounders.