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Villanova’s Mikal Bridges declares for NBA draft

Michigan v Villanova

SAN ANTONIO, TX - APRIL 02: Mikal Bridges #25 of the Villanova Wildcats cuts down the net after defeating the Michigan Wolverines during the 2018 NCAA Men’s Final Four National Championship game at the Alamodome on April 2, 2018 in San Antonio, Texas. Villanova defeated Michigan 79-62. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

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Villanova’s Jay Wright is the hot NBA coaching candidate in college basketball – because of his ability to identify and develop players like Mikal Bridges.

Will Wright jump to the NBA? Bridges will.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

All-American Mikal Bridges of Villanova will bypass his final year of eligibility and enter the NBA draft, he told ESPN.

Bridges is a first-round lock and probable lottery pick. He’ll likely be the highest-drafted upperclassman.

At 6-foot-7 with a 7-foot-2 wingspan and plenty of athleticism, Bridges has the tools to be an excellent and versatile defender. His basketball intelligence makes him one.

He was a very good college 3-point shooter, and his outside shooting will probably be an asset in the pros. But there are some concerns whether Bridges’ shooting stroke will translate cleanly to the deeper NBA arc. If his outside shot is a threat, he can drive to the rim and finish well there. Subpar ball-handling limits his star potential.

But Bridges should slot in nicely as a 3-and-D small forward. That carries plenty of value.