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Lewis: Mikal Bridges knows he’s staying in Brooklyn and he appreciates the love

2023 NBA Playoffs - Philadelphia 76ers v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

If you wondered whether Mikal Bridges was ever concerned that the Nets might trade him, for the Blazers No. 3 pick or Damian Lillard or in some other scenario, wonder no more. As Brian Lewis reports exclusively Thursday, the Brooklyn braintrust has assured Bridges that a trade isn’t happening, period.

“Yeah, it’s unbelievable love, and I appreciate it a lot. It makes you feel good,” Bridges told The Post. “I think a lot goes into it, with just how I play, how I work, how I am as a person off the court, and just being a good person. I think that helps a lot, where they could obviously trade me and do this or that.

“As of right now they’re saying they’re not, but I think just being a good person kind of helps with that, because there’s just like you don’t want to lose a person like that, which is always a good quality to have. So, [I feel] just blessed, man; just blessed and very appreciative for that. And that just does show that love, honestly.”

As Mike Scotto of Hoopshype reported, the Nets turned down an offer of four first rounders for Bridges from the Grizzlies immediately after he was traded to Brooklyn in the Kevin Durant megatrade. As Adrian Wojnarowski said the morning of February 9, Sean Marks had long coveted Bridges and he is now the foundation stone for the Nets rebuild (or whatever you want to call it.)

As Lewis wrote:

The 26-year-old Bridges has rapidly become not just the Nets’ leading scorer, but also the face of the franchise. He has been invited to events with team owners Joe and Clara Wu Tsai, and has become ubiquitous in the community, showing up Wednesday at the eBay Collectors Camp at The Post in Bushwick.

He also has been a regular at New York Liberty games and praised the Tsais and Sean Marks as “great people.” When he’s asked, he’s there.

Bridges, however, has not been asked about Lillard, who is a good friend and summer workout partner and someone who if available might interest the Nets.

“Not really, no. I see [the rumors] all over, though. I see it all over. And I kind of talk to him just to see,” Bridges told The Post. “They don’t know anything, and that’s good, I don’t want to know anything even if you do know something. I want you to do y’all job, I’m not here to do that. I’m here to just hoop, try to be the best teammate, player I can be, be coachable. … If they find out about something, I think they’ll tell me. But other than that, just waiting to see. We’ll see.”

Bridges, as he has in the past, said he hopes the Nets and Cam Johnson can reach an agreement on a contract. All signs seem to point in that direction. As for the Draft and possible trades that could evolve in the next 24 hours, Bridges told Lewis he’s letting the chips fall where they may.

“At this point you just kind of control what you can control, just see what happens, honestly,” Bridges said. “You just go with team you have now and with the picks, whoever they, whoever we pick — I say they, because I’m not [deciding].

“You just kind of control what you control, just keep getting better. NBA trades, that stuff happens. I got to Brooklyn off a trade, so just staying ready, being ready and trusting what the staff and the front office are going to do. And I know they want to win. So just figure things out. But I love the guys we have right now, and now I’m just ready for the season.”