Phoenix Suns’ Mikal Bridges joins elite company in Small-Forward rankings

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns’ small-forward Mikal Bridges took giant strides over the 2021-22 season, developing into one of the best two-way wings in the NBA.

The 25-year-old finished second to Marcus Smart in Defensive Player of the Year voting, also averaging career-highs in points (14.2) and assists (2.3) on the offensive end.

Mikal Bridges had a breakout season for the Phoenix Suns last season, now rewarded with a spot amongst elite company in recent small-forward rankings.

After releasing their top 25 point-guard and shooting-guard rankings across the past fortnight, HoopsHype have now released their corresponding list for the small-forward position. 

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

Bridges was ranked tenth on the star-studded list, with author Frank Urbina referring to his outstanding ability to perform the glue-guy role asked of him by head coach Monty Williams.

"“One of the top 3-and-D players in the NBA at the moment, Mikal Bridges is more complementary piece than star, but a star he is in his role nonetheless”.Last season, Bridges was fantastic, averaging 14.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals to go with 36.9 percent shooting from three and a +9.5 swing rating, playing a pivotal part in what was an elite Phoenix Suns team in the regular season”."

Boston Celtics’ superstar Jayson Tatum topped the list after a sublime season that saw him reach the NBA Finals for the first time. Others ahead of Bridges include the experienced group of Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James, Jimmy Butler and Paul George, rising Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram, and 2021 NBA champion Khris Middleton.

Bridges joins teammates Chris Paul and Devin Booker as a top 10 player in their respective position rankings, with the latter being labelled the best shooting-guard in the league.

dark. Next. Odds suggest Phoenix Suns’ Mikal Bridges is well placed to make history

With Deandre Ayton expected to join the above three as a top 10 player in his position, and Cameron Johnson likely to feature in the power-forward rankings, Phoenix have the core to fulfill another impressive season among the NBA’s elite teams.