NBA Draft Profile: Michigan State SF Miles Bridges

Miles Bridges     

Position: Small forward

Height: 6-6

Philadelphia 76ers

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Weight: 220

School: Michigan State

It was somewhat surprising that Bridges decided to go back to Michigan State for his sophomore year. A five-star recruit and considered one of the top high school players in the country, Bridges likely would've been a lottery pick if he'd come out after his freshman season with the Spartans.

Unfortunately, a lot of his numbers went down this season and his draft stock probably hasn't risen. His points per game went up only slightly but his field goal and three-point percentage both went down. The only area in which Bridges saw a vast improvement is at the free throw line (69 to 85 percent).

In his two seasons under Tom Izzo, Bridges averaged 17 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.1 blocks a game. He was named second-team All-American and first-team All-Big Ten.

Strengths
Bridges is an outstanding athlete - many of his dunks are straight disrespectful - with an NBA body. At 6-foot-6, he used his athleticism and size to average over seven rebounds a game in both of his college seasons. 

He definitely has the potential to be a knockdown shooter. His stroke is smooth and he has a good, quick release. He has a quick first step and isn't afraid of - and can finish through - contact around the rim. 

He has all the tools to be an elite defensive player at the next level.

Weaknesses
Bridges is beefier than he is long. His poor shooting numbers aren't the result of a bad shot but poor shot selection. He often forced the action and doesn't have the court vision or overall offensive feel to have an offense go through him. 

He settled for too many contested jump shots. He has slashing ability and doesn't mind contact, so he should attack the rim more. 

His motor was inconsistent on the defensive end. He also got caught ball watching a little too often.

NBA comparison
I see a cross between a young Richard Jefferson and Jae Crowder. Bridges is actually probably a better shooter than either player was coming out of college.

How he'd fit with Sixers
Most around these parts see the other Bridges as the best fit for the Sixers. I'm not so sure. 

Miles Bridges comes into the league with an NBA body and has shown the foundation to be an excellent shooter. I'd like to see him with a chance to play with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons opening up the floor. 

With Bridges not being the No. 1 option on offense like he was at Michigan State, he should excel as a 3-and-D wing that also can run up and down the floor with any NBA athlete. I still see potential as a slasher as well.

For what it's worth, his agent is Rich Paul - same as Simmons and LeBron James.

Draft projection
There is a strong chance that Bridges will be there for the taking at No. 10. If the Sixers pass, it's hard to see him dropping much lower than that. 

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