Phoenix Suns General Manager, James Jones has been in the position for a few years now. He’s done so well that he just got an extension worth $90 million over six seasons with no player-specific restrictions and it was given to him before free agency started. This means Bridges will be on his team at least until 2023 when he is 37-years old which would make this contract one of the longest ever given out by an NBA player even if you take away LeBron James’ 13 year deal from Miami Heat back in 2010
The “Mikal Bridges” is an NBA player for the Phoenix Suns. He has been a key part of the team’s success, and his $90 million extension is an immense bargain for the Suns as proven by 2 incredible stat sheets.
The Phoenix Suns are the hottest team in the NBA, and their victory against the Golden State Warriors earlier this week made Stephen A. Smith look dumb. Because of their summer investment to Mikal Bridges, the Suns have one of the best foundations in the NBA.
The most notable move made by Phoenix this summer was the re-signing of Chris Paul. The $90 million extension Bridges received from the Suns, on the other hand, looms huge in terms of the team’s capacity to win a title now and in the future.
Bridges is continuing to build on his breakthrough 2020-21 season with outstanding performance on both sides of the court. In fact, if his recent defensive performances are any indicator, his deal might be a bargain.
Mikal Bridges was given a four-year, $90 million contract extension by the Suns.
Mikal Bridges, a guard with the Phoenix Suns, has agreed to a four-year, $90 million rookie contract extension, according to his representatives, Sam Goldfeder and Jordan Gertler of @Excelbasketball. The deal is 100% assured.
October 17, 2021 — Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn)
Although the Suns’ offseason was always focused on re-signing Chris Paul, they had a few other important choices to make.
Deandre Ayton was offered a contract extension by Phoenix, but the team did not feel comfortable doing so. Bridges might have been a factor in the team’s hesitancy on that front.
Making Bridges a part of the Suns’ future seemed like a bold move. Last season, he set career highs in both points (13.5) and rebounds (4.3), shooting 54.3 percent from the field and 42.5 percent from outside the arc. Bridges has also shown to be one of the best on-ball defenders in the NBA.
As discussions with Ayton lingered, the Suns pounced on the opportunity to sign Bridges. The former Villanova standout signed a four-year, $90 million contract with Phoenix, giving them a solid two-way wing to develop around with CP3 and Devin Booker.
Bridges has already started to justify the contract, and his recent performances against two of the league’s top players suggest the Suns may have gotten a good bargain.
In back-to-back games, Bridges shut down James Harden and Stephen Curry.
Bridges is no stranger to guarding some of the top players in the NBA. For the last several seasons, he’s been Phoenix’s top on-ball defender.
Nonetheless, what he did against James Harden and Stephen Curry in the previous two games was incredible.
Bridges and the Suns were a nightmare for both guys. On Nov. 27, Harden went 4-of-15 from the field and 0-of-6 from three-point range. He had seven turnovers as well. On Nov. 30, Curry, who has made mincemeat of powerful on-ball defenders, had his worst shooting night of his career, going 4-of-21 from the field and 3-of-14 from beyond the arc.
Both defensive efforts were spearheaded by Bridges. When covered by the Suns swingman, Harden went 0-for-2 in almost seven minutes, according to NBA.com. Curry, on the other hand, was 0 for 3 from the field against Bridges. Despite the lack of attempts, Bridges’ defensive influence on both guys is better represented in the overall shooting lines.
Because of Bridges’ ability to make things more difficult for stars, the Suns can have cleaner rotations and provide assistance when needed. He pushes players like Harden and Curry to either give up the ball or settle for more difficult shots, even if late switches are available.
At the conclusion of the first half of the Suns-Warriors game, a great illustration of this occurred. In pick-and-roll, Curry got a switch onto Ayton. Bridges, on the other hand, stayed with Draymond Green and cut off his roll, prompting Steph to try a late-game long three. The Suns were sent the other way after Ayton got a piece of the shot.
Furthermore, the 25-year-old is an excellent rover who can play the passing channels and keeps players aware of his presence at all times. Bridges turned off his assignment on Green to block the Baby-Faced Assasin at the rim later in the game when Curry beat Ayton off the dribble on a switch.
Bridges’ length and quickness make him a force to be reckoned with, whether he’s protecting the ball or wreaking havoc with his excellent help defense and anticipation.
Bridges is enjoying another productive offensive year.
On November 30, 2021, Stephen Curry defends Mikal Bridges during a game between the Golden State Warriors and the Phoenix Suns | Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Mikal Bridges is more than simply a defensive stopper. He is still a productive scorer with the Suns.
Bridges is hitting 39.1 percent from the three-point line. He cuts to the hoop for easy twos at the rim and can finish in the restricted area with floaters and runners.
There is still opportunity for improvement. Bridges has a hard time shooting the ball well off the bounce. However, his ability to play in transition, cut, and hit spot-up 3-pointers makes him essential for a team that already has exceptional shot-creators in Booker and Curry, as well as a powerful interior presence in the paint.
The Philadelphia native should continue to develop as a scoring threat. Bridges seems to be a $90 million steal for the Suns when you consider his offensive and defensive abilities. Both James Harden and Stephen Curry are likely to agree.
Unless otherwise stated, all stats are courtesy of Basketball Reference.
Penny Hardaway and his Phoenix Suns teammates brawled in front of season-ticket holders over a $30,000 Bourré pot.