After selecting Deandre Ayton with the first overall pick to kick off the draft, the Suns have agreed to acquire another top-10 prospect. According to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link), Phoenix has reached a deal with the Sixers that will send No. 10 overall pick Mikal Bridges to the Suns, with No. 16 pick Zhaire Smith heading to Philadelphia.
In addition to Smith, the Sixers will receive the Heat’s 2021 first-round pick from Phoenix, tweets Charania. The trade is now official.
By moving from the 1oth pick to the 16th, the Sixers will save about $1MM in cap space, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link), who notes that the extra money will be helpful if Philly decides to make a max offer in free agency.
The first-rounder from Miami will remain unprotected, according to Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated (Twitter link). A 2021 selection could be even more valuable if the NBA does away with its one-and-done rule that year, since that year’s top high-school seniors and college freshman could both be draft-eligible for the first time.
The trade puts an unexpected twist on what was nearly a storybook night for Villanova’s Bridges, who hails from the Philadelphia area. He and his mother both seemed thrilled at the prospect of having him join the Sixers. Instead, Bridges heads west to join a rebuilding franchise in Phoenix.
Arthur Hill contributed to this post.