‘Nova Knicks’: Mikal Bridges traded from Brooklyn Nets to New York Knicks, adding to existing core of Villanova players

Damond Isiaka
3 Min Read


CNN
 — 

And then there were four ‘Nova Knicks.’

Already boasting three former Villanova University Wildcats – Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart and Donte DiVincenzo – on their roster, the New York Knicks are expanding their roster of former Villanova players with the reported acquisition of small forward Mikal Bridges.

According to sources who spoke to ESPN on Tuesday, Bridges is being traded to the Knicks from the Brooklyn Nets.

According to ESPN, the Nets receive small forward Bojan Bogdanovic as well as “four unprotected first-rounders (2025, 2027, 2029 and 2031), a protected 2025 first-round pick via the Milwaukee Bucks, the Knicks’ unprotected 2028 pick swap and a 2025 Brooklyn second-round selection,” in exchange for Bridges.

CNN has reached out to Bridges’ representatives, the Knicks and Nets for confirmation.

The 27-year-old Bridges will join Brunson, Hart and DiVincenzo after all four were teammates on the Villanova Wildcats team which won the NCAA championships in 2016, Brunson, Bridges and DiVincenzo won the NCAA championship for Villanova again in 2018.

Reacting to the news, Bridges wrote on X: “This is crazy lol.” Brunson used just three letters – “Omg” – while Hart capitalized his message: “YO WE F**KING LIT” on the social media platform.

Hart also shared a screenshot of a FaceTime call with all four former Villanova teammates shortly after the announcement was made.

The Villanova men’s basketball X account celebrated the trade too, saying: “Our guys back together. #OnceAWildcatAlwaysAWildcat.”

The idea of bringing former Wildcats to the Knicks in recent years has brought about an uptick in the Knicks’ success.

Last season, Brunson, Hart and DiVincenzo were three key players in New York’s run to the NBA Eastern Conference semifinals.

Bridges was traded to Brooklyn from the Phoenix Suns in February 2023 in the deal that saw Kevin Durant go in the opposite direction. He averaged 26.1 points the rest of that season and then scored 19.6 per game this year.

He will bring defensive presence to the Knicks, having been runner-up for the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award in 2022. He is also currently the NBA’s most durable player having played in all 474 games in his career, leading the league in minutes played in both 2021-22 and 2022-23.

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