Bridges’ Versatility Impresses Clippers

by Trinity Elliott

Miles Bridges is accustomed to bright lights and pressure situations, so it is no surprise that in today’s pre-draft workout with the Clippers, he stood out among five of his peers.

An explosive forward who’s projected anywhere from the sixth to 14th pick in next week’s draft, Bridges was born and raised in Flint, Michigan, a basketball hotbed. In 2016, he was a heavily sought after recruit with his resume including the McDonald’s All-American game, Jordan Brand Classic, and Peach Jam. Rated seventh overall by ESPN in the 2016 class, Bridges decided to take his talents to East Lansing, opting over North Carolina, Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan.

Bridges’ impact on coach Tom Izzo’s system could be seen almost immediately. In his freshman campaign, he averaged a little under 17 points, eight rebounds, and two assists while establishing his name in the MSU record books. Despite projecting as a mid-first round pick, he decided to forgo the NBA draft and stay at Michigan State for his sophomore year. In his second year, Bridges evolved as a scorer and playmaker, increasing both his points and assists averages. He has also built a name for himself by bullying defenders off the pick-and-roll and shooting a consistent 37 percent from deep. Outside of the tangibles, many teams and scouts are delighted at the thought of a stretch forward with a high basketball IQ, heart, and hustle like no other.

“I try to give the same effort wherever I am because you never know where I am going to end up, so I try to give 110% wherever I go,” said Bridges.”This was a great workout and I gave it my all.”

No prospect comes without potential for improvement. Although Bridges is incredibly athletic, he’s not as long or as tall as other stretch fours. Also, in a league that increasingly values wings that can handle the ball and make plays, Bridges at times struggles with ballhandling in the open court. Bridges knows where he needs to improve, and is working tirelessly to do so.

“We’re all humans. We all have flaws, so there [are] no perfect players, no perfect people. Here, you’re trying to get a sense of their humility and their drive for areas that are weaknesses. How committed will they be to address those, and how confident are we that they can get those areas improved," said Lawrence Frank, President of Basketball Operations.

With a premium on size, versatility and scoring ability, Bridges would make a great addition to virtually any system, especially the Clippers’. He is athletic, consistent, and a solid two-way player. What he lacks in length he makes up in hustle. Very similar to Michigan State, the Clippers are heavy users of the pick-and-roll, where Bridges is at his best. He has put in the work to improve his efficiency and output each year, and that’s exactly the type of hard-nosed two-way player the Clippers are searching for.

"We feel really excited about the draft, that we’re going to get two players that are Clippers. And when we talk about what’s a Clipper, it’s a competitive, high-basketball character, tough, high IQ guy,” said Frank.

“I think I could fit in well with [the Clippers’ system], being a threat on offense, being versatile, that’s great for any team.” said Bridges.

Miles Bridges

Michigan State - G/F

6'7" | 225lbs

Hometown: Flint, Mich

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