Philadelphia 76ers select Villanova's Mikal Bridges with the 10th overall pick in the NBA Draft then trade him to the Phoenix Suns

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Sixers draft then trade Mikal Bridges: Jeff Skyversky reports on Action News at 10 p.m., June 21, 2018 (WPVI)

The Philadelphia 76ers ended Mikal Bridges' happy homecoming in a hurry, sending the Villanova standout to the Phoenix Suns for Zhaire Smith in a swap of first-round draft picks.

The Sixers selected Bridges with the 10th pick in the NBA draft Thursday night, with the national champion forward expected to make the short move down the road for the emerging franchise.

Bridges, whose mother works in human resources for the franchise's parent company, was traded shortly after he wrapped a press conference expressing his excitement at playing for his hometown team. The Sixers also acquired an unprotected 2021 first-round pick in the trade.



Smith worked out twice for the Sixers during the draft process and should be a rotation player for the blossoming Eastern Conference playoff team. The 19-year-old Smith averaged 11.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists a game in his lone season at Texas Tech.

The Sixers also selected Wichita State guard Landry Shamet with the 26th overall pick. He averaged 14.9 points and shot 44 percent from 3-point range in his sophomore season with the Shockers.

Coach Brett Brown was put in charge on an interim basis as the franchise searches for a new general manager. Brown, who took the 76ers from 10 wins to the third seed in the Eastern Conference in just two seasons, signed a three-year contract extension that runs through the 2021-2022 season.

Brown had Smith, Big 12 All-Defensive Team selection, in his sight all along.

"He was like, 'We're going to make something happen,'" Smith said. "Apparently, he did."

The Sixers won 52 games this season and beat Miami in the first round of the playoffs before they were eliminated in the conference semis by Boston. Under Brown's watch, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have blossomed into two of the top young players in the league.

"They run in transition and I'd like to be a part of that," Smith said. "Ben Simmons, he can bring it up and make good passes. I'm a good cutter so he can make me look good."

The Sixers have roughly $30 million in salary cap space and expected to be players in the free-agent market.

At Barclays Center, the NBA draft site, a plane flying above the arena carried three banners. One had LeBron James' No. 23 with a crown and the Liberty Bell, another urges him to "Strive for GOATNESS" and the last reads #PHILLYWANTSLEBRON. Power Home Remodeling, a Philadelphia-based company, has become a James recruiter, originally setting up three billboards in Cleveland urging him to come to the city. The company also flew Thursday's billboards in Brooklyn.


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