Michigan State small forward Miles Bridges, a late NBA lottery possibility, hasn’t yet made a decision on whether he’ll enter the 2017 NBA Draft. UPDATE: Adrian Wojnarowski reports Bridges is ‘leaning heavily’ towards returning to MSU for his sophomore season. Apparently Bridges cancelled agent meetings. He also has an announcement scheduled for 6 p.m. today.
Most mocks have Bridges in the late lottery, around the 10-13 range, with the Pistons likely picking No. 12. Would Bridges be a perfect fit in Detroit?
I’ve written a few times in recent weeks that the Pistons should just simply draft the best player available and if he declared it’s a semi-decent bet that Bridges could be on the board when pick No. 12 come around — and most importantly — he’ll likely still be the best player available. Sorry, Stanley Johnson fans, but if Detroit drafts Bridges then he may just take over like it’s no big thing.
Bridges only season as a Michigan State Spartan saw him average 16.9 points and 8.3 rebounds per game on 38.9 percent from 3-point range (56 for 144) and had an overall mark of 48.6 percent from the field. For comparison’s sake, Stanley Johnson in his lone season at Arizona shot 47.8 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from 3-point range (43-for-116). One thing I should note, besides that the numbers are pretty similar, is that Miles’ shooting form seems a lot further along in being considered a “finished product” than Stanley’s.
If it felt a bit of a stretch reading that a freshly minted 19-year-old possesses a jump shot that is nearly a finished product, then good (you are normal) — because I felt darn naughty writing it. I’m just likely way too optimistic.
Having admitted to that, however, what if it holds true that Bridges’ shooting form is mature for his age? It’d be a big change from what Johnson has been working through the past two seasons, that’s for sure. This is not to say Johnson won’t settle in and become a quality shooter while still being a capable, hard-nosed defender; though it is to say drafting Bridges with everything he has to offer is a wise bet, considering all the signs pointing to there being a much higher ceiling for Bridges’ career.
If we are looking to compare Bridges to a current NBA player in some way (why wouldn’t we) I have to agree with what DBB fan docfunk22 wrote the other day, mentioning Bridges’ physical profile is a lot like Blake Griffin’s, in a sense that both have wide frames and are impressive athletes but are not going to impress anyone with their wingspans.
Let’s see some of what Bridges has to offer.
Here’s three jump shots from the lefty Bridges -- do notice the low release point. Bridges might need to tweak that to a higher release point as he’ll be going against more lengthy forwards in the NBA. I do like Bridges’ overall patience and consistent form in shooting the ball in watching him during the latter parts of the college season and from various other clips.
Bridges’ motor on display. Explosiveness too.
I think I can get away with saying that this is a pro quality move.
Put this under the pro quality category, too.
It’s only a quick look at Bridges’s offensive game, and while there’s a lot to like, indications are Bridges doesn’t enter the NBA draft anyway. Unless the Pistons are terrible again next season, don’t expect them to ever be in the running to draft Bridges, a potential top 5 pick in the 2018 NBA draft.