Phoenix Suns: Ranking Mikal Bridges Among Starting Small Fowards

Phoenix Suns, Mikal Bridges. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns, Mikal Bridges. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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When you bring up the Phoenix Suns and their young core to anyone, discussions involving Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton almost immediately ensue. Given each player’s rise to stardom, this routine honestly makes sense.

But with two incredibly bright stars constantly absorbing the public’s attention, a third one off to the side might go somewhat ignored, even despite its own luminous appeal.

Into the fold steps Mikal Bridges.

Thanks to a draft day trade with the Philadelphia 76ers, the Suns walked away with the former Villanova Wildcat three years ago, paring him with Ayton who went selected with that draft’s first overall pick. Since donning Phoenix threads, Bridges has made solid contributions to the team, averaging 10.2 points per game, while shooting 49.7 percent from the field and 37.6 percent from deep.

Although Bridges flashed ball handling skills at the collegiate level, his 209 pound frame and seven-foot-one wingspan more closely resonated with the small forward position. Bridges eagerly assumed that role, and held onto it even last year when astute forward Jae Crowder signed with the team.

Also housing players like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, and Jimmy Butler, the three spot is an unequivocal breeding ground for NBA talent. Viewed by some as a small forward, Luka Doncic supports this notion as well, with him being arguably the future face of the game.

At this point, Bridges belongs several spots back from those upper echelon players as far as small forward rankings go. However, he still owns solid positioning, and is without a doubt on the rise.