3. Mikal Bridges
Bridges may be the most gettable star on this list, but Portland better strike now with the way the former Phoenix Suns wing has exploded in his first chance as a team’s No. 1 option.
Since being traded to Brooklyn in the Kevin Durant deal, the fourth-year pro has upped his scoring average from 17.2 points per game to 26.1; his free-throw attempts per game from 3.1 to 6.6; and his field-goal percentage from 46.3 to 47.5 – all of this on five more shots a night.
He’s also still shooting a high percentage from three – 37.6 – while averaging two more attempts from deep.
Bridges’ production has gone up with an increase role, but his efficiency hasn’t dropped much, if at all.
Much like Brown, the 6-6 Bridges is one of the NBA’s best two-way wings. His defensive rating in 2022-23 ranked among other forwards noted for their defensive ability, such as Chicago’s Patrick Williams, Denver’s Bruce Brown, Philadelphia’s Jalen McDaniels, and the Clippers’ Terrence Mann.
The former Villanova standout would settle in well as a three-and-D wing who can guard the opponent’s best scorer every night, knock down open shots, and hit a high clip from deep while continuing to hone his burgeoning shot-creation skills as a primary scorer.