Mikal Bridges appeared poised to fulfil a dream of playing for his hometown Philadelphia 76ers, but those hopes were soon dashed as he endured a bizarre evening at the 2018 NBA Draft.
Bridges, born in Philadelphia, stayed in the city to play his collegiate basketball at Villanova University. His mother works for the 76ers, and it looked as if they would be kept together when Philadelphia took him 10th overall.
"It's a great feeling to get picked by the Sixers," Bridges said. "Just watching them, especially this year, growing up watching them, going to games when I was young, it's a blessing.
"My mom working there, went to Villanova right around the corner, played in [the 76ers' arena] Wells Fargo [Center] throughout the whole year this year. It's just truly a blessing."
But Bridges was not a Sixer for long, as he was traded to the Phoenix Suns during his post-draft media conference, Philadelphia dealing him for Zhaire Smith.
That led to the bizarre scene of Bridges, unaware of the trade, answering questions about a team he would not be playing for.
Despite the dramatic twist, Bridges still appeared in good spirits, saying in a video posted on the Suns' Twitter account: "Excited to get drafted by you guys. Can't wait to go down to Phoenix and get ready to win."
Bridges won a pair of National Championships with Villanova from 2015-18. He averaged 17.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game as a redshirt junior last season.
He knocked down 43.5 percent of his three-pointers and tallied 1.5 steals per contest.
The Suns also drafted Arizona big man Deandre Ayton with the top overall pick.