Could Josh Hart be recruiting a top Knicks trade candidate?

Could Josh Hart be recruiting a top Knicks trade candidate?

Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks have been linked to Brooklyn Nets F Mikal Bridges for the majority of the last calendar year. Bridges would fit the Knicks’ need for another primary ball handler and scorer, but he also would complete the ‘Nova Knicks’, playing alongside Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart, and Donte DiVincenzo as a member of both the 2016 and 2018 Villanova Wildcats squads that won the National Championship.

Josh Hart posts a series of pictures to Instagram as he takes on analyst role at ESPN

May 8, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Josh Hart (3) celebrates in the fourth quarter against the Indiana Pacers during game two of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
May 8, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Josh Hart (3) celebrates in the fourth quarter against the Indiana Pacers during game two of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Recently, Josh Hart playfully teased his former college teammate about a potential reunion. During the NBA Finals, Hart has been a part of ESPN’s NBA Countdown panel as an analyst. On Monday, Hart took to Instagram to post a series of photos from his new endeavor, captioning his post “Might quit my day job??,” an ode to a tweet sent out by Jalen Brunson during Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

Mikal Bridges takes the opportunity to tease his former college teammate

Feb 7, 2017; Villanova, PA, USA; Villanova Wildcats guard Josh Hart (3), guard Mikal Bridges (25) and forward Eric Paschall (4) salute the crowd after win against the Georgetown Hoyas at The Pavilion. Villanova defeated Georgetown 75-64. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 7, 2017; Villanova, PA, USA; Villanova Wildcats guard Josh Hart (3), guard Mikal Bridges (25) and forward Eric Paschall (4) salute the crowd after win against the Georgetown Hoyas at The Pavilion. Villanova defeated Georgetown 75-64. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Bridges then took the opportunity to leave a sarcastic comment under his former college teammate’s post:

“Come to the Nets?,” Bridges commented (h/t Sports Illustrated). To which Hart responded, “@mikalbridges are you ok? If they have you hostage just blink and we’ll save you.”

Hart and Bridges have a history of teasing a potential reunion

Obviously, the former Villanova standouts are merely joking with one another. However, this wouldn’t be the first time Hart and Bridges and have teased each other regarding a possible reunion. Last summer, just hours after former Villanova Wildcat Donte DiVincenzo agreed to a four-year deal with the Knicks, Hart tweeted at Bridges, saying “Yo @mikalbridges hit my phone bro.”

Additionally, in February, Bridges appeared as a guest on Brunson and Hart’s Roommates Show podcast. In the episode, the pair took multiple opportunities to poke fun at their former college teammate with the Knicks and Nets rivalry. While unlikely, it is possible that Hart could be trying to recruit his friend to be the final piece to complete the ‘Nova Knicks.’

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Bridges could be a good fit for the Knicks as they continue their quest for an NBA title

Brooklyn Nets forward Mikal Bridges (1) looks to drive past New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) in the first quarter at Madison Square Garden
Brooklyn Nets forward Mikal Bridges (1) looks to drive past New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) in the first quarter at Madison Square Garden
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

From a basketball perspective, Bridges could be a good fit with the Knicks for the right price. Not only does he have great chemistry with members of the Knicks already, but the forward has transformed his game tremendously since entering the NBA in 2018.

In his first four and a half seasons with the Phoenix Suns, Bridges was mostly a role player, one of the premier 3-and-D wings in the NBA. Now, with the Brooklyn Nets, Bridges is the team’s top scoring option and has transitioned into a dynamic scoring threat, averaging 19.6 points per game last season with the Nets, making him a top trade target for a Knicks team that will surely be aggressive this offseason.

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