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Miles Bridges – 6’7″ Guard/Forward, Michigan State University, 20 Years Old
Miles Bridges comes into the 2018 NBA Draft as a projected late lottery pick. A sophomore out of MSU, Bridges has the ability to play both guard and forward positions. A vital part of Tom Izzo‘s Spartan squad, Bridges was the 2016-17 Big Ten Freshman of the Year and made back-to-back All Big-Ten teams, first and second respectively.
During the 2017-18 college season, Bridges averaged 17.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 0.6 steals, and 0.8 blocks per game. He also shot 45.7 percent from the field, 36.4 percent from three, and 85.3 percent from the free-throw line. After having a remarkable freshman season, Bridges made the decision to return for a second season at MSU. Paired alongside likely lottery pick Jaren Jackson Jr., many thought Michigan State could make a run for the NCAA championship. Bridges’ leadership skills, drive, and will to succeed should see him taken within the top-10 on draft night.
Miles Bridges’ size and versatility are two of the biggest positives of his game. He is a terrific defensive rebounder for his position and a multi-dimensional scorer. He’s also capable of distributing the ball and involving his teammates. Furthermore, Bridges is a natural leader who brings with him a winning mentality, as many of Izzo’s prospects do. He is also a versatile defender, able to guard positions one through four.
Bridges is a fantastic offensive prospect, capable of scoring in a multitude of ways. His two-foot explosiveness makes him able to finish at the rim well, and he is a great spot up jump shooter. He was not as successful shooting off of the dribble but with offensive win shares of 0.124, Bridges was clearly MSU’s best offensive player and has a game which can easily translate to the pros. Most notably, his three-point shooting should translate well; he is projected to shoot at a rate of 38 percent in the NBA.
Defensive rebounding is another key feature of Bridges’ game, which again stems from his two-foot explosiveness, his size, and his mobility. More broadly, Bridges can guard multiple positions and is a fairly successful perimeter defender. He also plays effective help defense, especially near the rim.
While Bridges is an explosive, attacking player, he seems to struggle to draw fouls. He shot high percentage from the line in college but attempted just 3.2 free throws per game last season, despite attempting over 13 field goals nightly. Furthermore, Bridges is often an inconsistent decision maker.
Bridges also has a low steal rate, which he will need to improve in order to be a top-tier defender in the NBA. He also tends to jump on pump fakes, and can sometimes fade for long stretches following mistakes.
Bridges fits the silhouette of the NBA swingman, a wing player who can defend multiple positions, knock down the three, and attack the rim. If he can live up to this potential, Bridges will become a highly coveted prospect in a league so desperate for these ‘tweeners,’ players who do a little bit of everything. At his ceiling, Bridges can be a reliable second or third option on a successful team.
NBA Player Comparison
Miles Bridges is capable of being a ‘Swiss Army knife,’ a player who can get it done on both ends of the court. Players who resemble him in the league are Jae Crowder, Draymond Green, and Justise Winslow – two-way players who are strong defenders but can also provide an offensive spark on any given night. Expect to see Bridges taken in the lottery on draft night.
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