Portland Trail Blazers free agency small forward target: Miles Bridges
This summer, the Portland Trail Blazers have the opportunity to pair two of the league’s most improved players together in Anfernee Simons and Miles Bridges.
Since landing an elite guard on his team, Bridges has proven himself to be a stellar second option, play finisher, and two-way force. He’s taken significant strides with his shot creation and playmaking, all while exerting the same level of elite effort and defensive attention that kept him on the floor long enough for his offense to blossom.
For a long time, Portland has been missing two key aspects in building an NBA roster: defense and athleticism. Miles Bridges would significantly boost both of those arenas.
Picturing a Dame-Bridges pick-and-roll with Ant spotting up in the corner sounds like a nightmare for defenses to solve.
Bridges is likely to command a max deal this summer and Cronin would have to flex a lot of his financial aptitude to create the space necessary to sign him, but the acquisition would be more than worth it.
This season, the former Michigan State Spartan is averaging 19.7 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game, while shouldering a significant load on both ends of the court.
His 3-point shooting percentage has regressed since his hot start to the season but that was anticipated with defenses game-planning against him as a proper second option.
If he were to land in Portland, he’d be the third option with one of the best offensive players in the history of the game leading the charge. I’m willing to bet that deep shooting efficiency would climb in Rip City.
The freakishly athletic forward will only be 24 years old next season and still has plenty of room to grow but would contribute immediately to Dame’s title chase. If there’s any hope that this deal could get done, Joe Cronin should put all of his chips on the table.
Not only should Miles Bridges be the Portland Trail Blazers’ top target at small forward, he should be their number one priority overall if there are any rumblings that he could leave the Charlotte Hornets.