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The Knicks have pulled off their blockbuster in trading for Mikal Bridges. And that means, for the first time in more than four years, judging the success of a move requires new context.

Trading for Bridges, 27, is no longer about the overarching philosophy or the tiny details that come with it. The chase is done. The Knicks will send Brooklyn four unprotected first-round picks (2025, ’27, ’29 and ’31), the most they could legally give up in a deal, along with the Milwaukee Bucks’ protected 2025 first-rounder, a 2028 first-round swap, a second-rounder and, for salary purposes, Bojan Bogdanović.

The haul going to Brooklyn is huge. Even the famed package that landed the Minnesota Timberwolves four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert a couple of summers ago did not include this many unprotected first-rounders.

This is the Knicks’ all-in move, their way of shouting to the world they are ready to enter the NBA’s inner circle of title contenders. The days of the cute, upstart, super-hustlers are behind them. So like with the Gobert trade, deciding whether or not this one is a success will be less about the process and more about the results.

If this version of the Knicks never makes it past the second round of the playoffs, they could regret giving up so much of their future for a player who did not put them over the top. Bridges has never been an All-Star, though he’s morphed into a consistent 20-point scorer since landing in Brooklyn.

But if this goes the other way, if Bridges is the final piece to help the Knicks to their first championship since 1973, no number of draft picks could be too many.

Read my analysis of the trade here.


With Mikal Bridges trade, Knicks are all in, but now they must prove it

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