Home News Nets GM Sean Marks says Mikal Bridges didn’t request trade to Knicks

Nets GM Sean Marks says Mikal Bridges didn’t request trade to Knicks

It was reported that the Nets had no interest in trading Mikal Bridges to the Knicks. According to some, the star forward’s camp was prepared to force the issue and made it clear to Brooklyn that the Knicks were his preferred destination, if dealt.

Speaking to reporters on Monday for the first time since the blockbuster trade was finalized, Nets general manager Sean Marks offered his perspective on the move.

According to Marks, Brooklyn did not enter the offseason seeking suitors for its franchise player. Bridges had been a focal point for the Nets since he first arrived at the 2022-23 trade deadline and the original plan was to build a contender around him.

However, Knicks president Leon Rose reached out to Marks days ahead of the eventual deal, gave him an offer for Bridges he could not refuse, and things moved quickly from there. Marks said Bridges was not made aware of their plans until negotiations were just about complete.

“That could not be further from the truth,” Marks said. “I think that’s just not in Mikal’s character. It’s not who he is. And that definitely did not happen. But he was told by me when I called him up and let them know that we’re at the 2-yard line.

“Leon and I have known each other for at least a couple of decades, so there’s no shortage of communication there with the Knicks. I’m not worried about doing a deal with them. We do a deal that we feel like is the best deal for the Brooklyn Nets moving forward, and we thought that was the right deal at the right time.”

Before the Bridges trade, the Nets and Knicks had not struck a deal since 1983.

Coming off a disappointing 2023-24 season, Marks knew that major changes needed to be made within the organization in order to get the team back in contention. The first necessary move was to hire first-year head coach Jordi Fernandez and his staff. The next, finding a way to create more structural and financial flexibility, which was more than accomplished in trading away Bridges.

The Nets, now entering a full rebuild, secured five first-round picks, one first-round pick swap, a second-round pick, forwards Bojan Bogdanović and Mamadi Diakite, and guard Shake Milton — all on team-friendly contracts — from the Knicks in exchange for Bridges, Keita Bates-Diop, a 2026 second round draft pick. They now have 16 first-round picks over the next six seasons, five picks in the Top 35 of next year’s draft, including four in the first round, and could have up to $100 million in cap space to play with entering the 2025 offseason.

The Nets have an abundance of future draft capital at their disposal and the next two draft classes in particular are projected to be some of the more talented in recent memory. If Marks plays his cards right, Brooklyn’s rebuild could move a lot quicker than many realize.

The Nets’ future outlook appeared bleak at the start of the summer, but the team picked its direction — as tough a decision as it might have been — and was rewarded for it. Now the franchise appears set up for sustained success, though getting there will not happen overnight.

“I think we have to be patient; we’re not going to be in a hurry,” Marks said. “There’s not a sort of a ‘well you have to trade this, or you have to make this or you have to trade these assets that were the draft assets that we’ve got or anything like that.’ I think this is something that we will continue to be strategic on and let it play out.

“Free agency is still going and I know it’s moving at sort of snail’s pace around the league right now, but that’s still going so let’s see how that shakes out over summer league and so forth and then into the season and we’ll go from there. But [this rebuild], do I think it’s going to take time. I think we’ll be strategic in it. But I do think being in this market, with this amount of draft assets, we’ve done it before. And so again, I don’t think that it’s going to be expedited by any means, but I don’t think it’s a long process either.”


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