Fizer had an outstanding junior season at Iowa State, but at 6-8 he lacked the height to excel at power forward, and he couldn’t cover for that with explosive athletic ability or perimeter shooting skill. He managed two double-figure scoring seasons on dreadful Chicago teams that lost a combined 113 games. But after a short stay in New Orleans he eventually played in Spain, Israel and Argentina, among other countries.
Tskitishvili was chosen at the height of the European contagion, when NBA teams were so hungry to get into business with Euros that shooter Jason Kapono was quoted as saying, I should have left UCLA after my freshman year, moved to Yugoslavia and changed my name to Jason Kaponovich. I’d have been a first-round pick. Kapono wound up playing nine years and hitting 457 3-pointers.Tskitishvili was out of the league by the time he was 22.
When the Villanova wing was selected at No. 10 by the 76ers, it seemed like the perfect marriage between prospect and team. Bridges played his college ball at the same arena as the Sixers, his mom is the vice president of human resources for the team’s ownership group and his 3-and-D skill set fit the roster’s needs flawlessly.
Bridges and his mother were rightly ecstatic on the broadcast of the event following the selection. There was only one problem: Bridges’ time as a Sixers wasn’t going to last.
While the 21-year-old was conducting a press conference about his excitement, news broke that he’d been traded to the Suns in exchange for Zhaire Smith and a future first-round pick. The cliched line it’s a business was uttered by more than one person following the deal.
There’s certainly no problem with Bridges’ fit in Phoenix — his malleability is one of his best strengths — but it’s not the fairytale ending everybody expected when the Sixers selected him at No. It’s easy to understand why that would be a bit of a bummer for the prospect and his family.