OG Anunoby among Knicks’ questions after Mikal Bridges trade

The Knicks finally pulled the trigger on a blockbuster trade, trading five first-round picks for Mikal Bridges on Tuesday night.

It was the shock of the summer (so far, at least), the first trade the Knicks and Nets had negotiated since Len Elmore moved from New Jersey to New York in 1983.

The Post’s Stefan Bondy answers five important questions about the deal:

Mikal Bridges comes to the Knicks from the Nets. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Q: Why did the Knicks do this?

A: First, Mikal Bridges is the type of plug-and-play wing that every team covets.

He improves the defense, helps mask Jalen Brunson’s defensive deficiencies on the perimeter and adds depth to a rotation that has lacked healthy bodies in the postseason.

Bridges is a minute eater.

And the Knicks needed minutes to get through a season after their three best players — Brunson, Julius Randle, OG Anunoby — all had surgery.

They have a tough arms race going against the Celtics.

Just as important, it seems, is that the Knicks discovered the power of chemistry through their college friendships and are leaning into it.

Maybe it will even help push Brunson to sign his extension this summer.

Q: What does this mean for OG Anunoby?

A: I still expect the Knicks to re-sign him.

They own his Bird rights and can go over the cap to re-sign him, even going up to a max contract if necessary (although I don’t think that will be the case).

OG Anunoby remains a question for the Knicks. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

Remember, the Knicks sacrificed a lot to get Anunoby (RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley) so they don’t want to lose him for nothing.

He’s also a versatile defender — capable of guarding 1-5 — so adding Bridges won’t push Anunoby out of the lineup.

Q: Is this too high a price?

A: Probably. But that’s the price to pay.

Bridges, while borderline All-Star, has shown that he’s probably best as a No. 3 on a team like he was in Phoenix.

He will recreate this role in New York behind Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle.

It’s also extremely durable and the availability is worth paying for in today’s NBA.

When I say he never misses a game, it’s not an exaggeration.

His streak of consecutive games played is impressive in the load management era.

In addition, its contract is user-friendly and exchangeable if necessary.

However, the Knicks open themselves up to criticism if they are no longer able to afford a top star if or when he becomes available.

Q: Who is removed from the starting lineup for Bridges?

A: Assuming Anunoby and Randle return, the logical move is for Donte DiVincenzo to return to the bench.

That’s where he started last season, even though he was much better as a starter.

Donte DiVincenzo could see his minutes reduced. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

We have to wait and see what other steps are taken before the season starts, but, based on what happened Tuesday, DiVincenzo will see reduced minutes and opportunities.

Q: Seriously, does that mean Jay Wright?

A: This would be Villanova’s second shock this summer, and it would be even more shocking than Mikal Bridges jumping over the river.

Tom Thibodeau should return but we are still waiting for news of his extension.

Maybe the Knicks were prioritizing this massive trade first. I’m sure Wright is a great coach.

But it would be stupid to remove Thibodeau from this team.

New York Post

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