GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Mikal Bridges has already enjoyed a lot of success at Madison Square Garden.
The 6-foot-7 wing scored 25 points to help lead eventual NCAA champion Villanova to the Big East Tournament championship over Providence in March -- a game that Knicks owner Jim Dolan, President Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry all watched from their courtside seats.
"The Garden's a special place," Bridges said Thursday after working out for the Knicks at their facility. "I love the Garden. I had my best games in college at the Garden this year...The Garden, a lot of great things happen at the Garden. It's beautiful, I love it."
Bridges could wind up playing NBA games at the Garden, too, if he's available when the wing-starved Knicks pick at No. 9 in the upcoming NBA Draft.
Bridges is currently projected to go No. 10 to Philadelphia, per ESPN.com, and he said he still plans to work out for the Sixers and Cavaliers after working out for Charlotte and Chicago. His mother, Tyneeha Rivers, is the global vice president for human resources for Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, the company that oversees Sixers' personnel.
The Knicks also planned to work out Alabama PG Collin Sexton later Thursday, whom ESPN.com projects the Knicks taking at No. 9. Duke forward Wendell Carter Jr. works out Friday, a league source confirmed. Carter, one of several one-and-dones out of Duke this season, is projected to go to Orlando at No. 6, per the latest ESPN.com mock draft.
Meanwhile, Bridges said he would fit "really well" with the Knicks. He had dinner Wednesday night with the team's brass, and also watched film Thursday with coach David Fizdale.
"You've got length with [Kristaps] Porzingis and Frank [Ntilikina]," he said. "They've got defense right there, just length on the ball, all that, and then playing off Porzingis. I could move without the ball, do whatever it takes. Transition, create space for him when he has the ball in iso. If they don't help off me, he has an easy way to the basket for sure."
Bridges says he's watched a lot of Porzingis over the last few years.
"I have for sure," he said. "I remember the first day he came as a Knick and people were doubting him, how hard he worked and how talented he is."
The 21-year-old averaged 17.7 points and 5.9 rebounds on 51 percent shooting and 44 percent from deep, where he made 104 threes last season. He was a huge reason why Villanova won its second NCAA title in three years under coach Jay Wright. That team produced four players who could go in the first or early-second rounds in Bridges, Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo and Omari Spellman.
Mikal Bridges has often been linked to Michigan State wing Miles Bridges, but Mikal says he's tired of the comparisons.
"I know him and a lot of people get me mixed up with him," Mikal said. "He's a really good player but we're two different people with two different games. It's funny people call me Miles by accident, but I don't look nothing like him or even built like him. So I told him the other day, 'If somebody calls me Miles one more time'....It's funny. He's a really good player. We're just two different people."
Unlike one-and-done prospects in Oklahoma's Trae Young, who worked out earlier this week, Sexton and Carter Jr., Bridges spent three years at Villanova, something he believes makes him more NBA-ready.
"Yeah most definitely," he said. "That winning mentality. That's the one thing I care about. I care about winning and bringing home the championship. I don't care about single accolades or anything like that. People don't know what it takes to win a championship, you sacrifice a lot. And that's maybe not seeing family, friends for a while. Maybe not talking to them that much."
He added: "I was just grateful to play for coach Wright and Villanova. We won it twice. I've been in it for my whole career in college so I know what it takes, I know the sacrifices ive been through. That's all I worry about - trying to win a championship."
KNICKS TO WATCH MICHAEL PORTER JR.
The Knicks are expected to have a big group present on Friday to see Missouri's Porter Jr. at the Priority Sports Pro Day in Chicago, including President Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry, per a league source.
The 6-foot-10 big manmissed most of his only season at Missouri while undergoing and recovering from back surgery. However, he is a pure scorer who could fit the Knicks' need at the wing.
Porter is projected as the No. 8 pick to Cleveland, via ESPN.com.
ANFERNEE SIMONS UP MONDAY
Simons, the 6-foot-4 point guard from IMG Academy (FL), works out of the Knicks Monday, per a source. He is trying to become the first player since Thon Maker in 2016 to jump straight from a post-graduate year to the pros. The 7-foot Maker went No. 10 (in a big surprise) to the Milwaukee Bucks, while Simons could go later in the first round.
"That kid is along way from helping an NBA team," ESPN's Fran Fraschilla recently said of Simons, currently projected as the No. 34 pick per ESPN.com.
Simons could get drafted and then spend some time in the NBA G League, which is not uncommon now for draft picks.