Knicks, Nets adapt blockbuster Mikal Bridges trade with new players

The Knicks have found a way to even the playing field so they can complete the trade of Mikal Bridges.

They will include guard Shake Milton in a sign-and-trade and roster-filler Mamadi Diakite, along with Bojan Bogdanovic — in addition to five future first-round picks and one pick swap — in the deal with the Nets, a source confirmed.

Mikal Bridges will soon be a Knick. Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks had to add more salary to the deal to avoid paying a maximum $178.1 million in first-round picks for luxury tax purposes.

The transfer can only be officially announced once the ban on the competition is lifted on Saturday afternoon.

A source said it was always in the deal that the Knicks “would never have a hard cap on the first platform” and “could not or would not go beyond the second platform” — regardless of what happened with Isaiah Hartenstein’s free agency or other moves.

The Knicks will also bring back forward Keita Bates-Diop from Brooklyn after signing Milton to a three-year, $9 million contract, which reportedly includes two non-guaranteed years, according to a source.

Bates-Diop does not count toward the Knicks’ salary because he makes minimum wage.

Shake Milton has been added to the exchange. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post
Keita Bates-Diop is now part of the blockbuster deal. Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Bridges has played 474 consecutive NBA games since the start of his career and averaged 19.6 points last season with the Nets.

He joins his former Villanova teammates Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart and Donte DiVincenzo on the Knicks, who finished second in the Eastern Conference last season at 50-32 before losing to the Pacers in the second round of the playoffs due to a series of injuries.

Additional reporting by Stefan Bondy

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