Mikal Bridges trade proves Brad Stevens' genius in building Boston Celtics' Banner 18 roster

Brad Stevens gave up very little to build the Boston Celtics' Banner 18 roster
Brad Stevens gave up very little to build the Boston Celtics' Banner 18 roster / Mark Blinch/GettyImages

The Mikal Bridges trade haul the Brooklyn Nets got for the non-All-Star from the NY Knicks -- Bojan Bogdanovic, four unprotected first-round picks, a protected first-round pick, an unprotected pick swap and a second-rounder -- makes you realize how little Brad Stevens gave up to build the Boston Celtics' Banner 18 roster.

Derrick White, Kristaps Porzingis, and Jrue Holiday were all acquired for a net loss of one pick and a pick swap. Bridges just went for five first-round picks and a pick swap.

Stevens swindled. Leon Rose overpaid. That's just how history has always been for the two teams, but let's not write off the Knicks even after the overpay just yet.

Mikal Bridges trade a win-now move designed to combat Boston Celtics

When a team wins as dominantly as the Celtics just did, the rest of the league has to adjust. New York trading for Bridges was a way to combat the C's wings, stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown; at least that's what some media folk believe.

It could work. Not in slowing down the Jays -- that is a pipe dream for every NBA team until further notice. But bringing Bridges to a mix that already includes three of his former championship teammates at Villanova, Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart, and Donte DiVincenzo, is a risk that's mitigated by the familiarity with winning.

The Nova Knicks have already forged a legacy as the most beloved team at Madison Square Garden on the hardwood since the 1990s era with Patrick Ewing, John Starks, and Charles Oakley, among others. Adding the one missing ingredient, who's been able to build his value to the point of requiring a Rudy Gobert-esque trade haul, could be the best move any team can make to compete with the Celtics in 2024-25.

But Brad still has an entire offseason to solidify what is already a historically dominant roster. Stevens did his work but maintained assets. If he still has eyes on a smaller move, history shows he'll make it. At a great price too.