CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) -- 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 have the 26th pick of the first round.
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.
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.
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.