Although the Charlotte Hornets are publicly stating their
willingness to do whatever it takes to re-sign Miles Bridges, free
agency always presents interesting situations on the fly. Charlotte
could see such a curveball with Bridges, a restricted free agent
who had yet another breakout campaign, averaging 20.2 points, 7.0
rebounds and 3.8 assists per contest on a 59.3% True Shooting
Will the Hornets actually be comfortable dipping their toes near
the luxury tax waters? Over the years, most notably in the Kemba
Walker saga, Charlotte has been notoriously frugal. If a team makes
an aggressive push for Bridges that makes Charlotte uncomfortable,
I will be very curious to see how they operate in the short
“We love Miles. We’re going to bring him back,” Hornets general
manager Mitch Kupchak said at Steve Clifford's introductory press
Let’s further explore scenarios where Bridges could bolt on the
As far as the best potential fits for Bridges away from LaMelo
Ball and the Hornets, Indiana immediately comes to mind as a
similar situation. Tyrese Haliburton is one of the best young
playmakers in the league, and he would be able to consistently set
up Bridges as a top-flight scorer in transition. Bridges and
Bennedict Mathurin is also a fun, score-first combination to
envision in Indiana.
All of a sudden, the Pacers would become a very enticing team
with Bridges aboard. If everything were to click together,
Indiana’s starting lineup could help create some Play-In Tournament
buzz immediately with a quintet of Haliburton, Mathurin, Chris
Duarte, Bridges and Myles Turner.
According to Cleaning The Glass, Indiana can create upwards of
$29 million in cap space with relative ease, and in turn, make the
Hornets sweat early on with an offer that approaches its
max-allotted space. What about throwing Bridges an offer sheet at
$115 million over four years? With the salary cap going up, this
deal wouldn’t impede much on Indiana’s long-term trajectory. And
from an on-court fit, Bridges would be excellent, and should
address a serious concern on the wing in Indiana.
Although it may seem unlikely Bridges leaves Charlotte this
week, the Pacers are the one team I would keep my eye on in pursuit
Thanks to the recent additions of Nerlens Noel and Alec Burks,
Detroit is no longer a serious threat to sign either Bridges or
Deandre Ayton in restricted free agency at the moment. But that
could quickly change with one trade that sheds Kelly Olynyk’s
salary. Moving Olynyk would open max-level room once more for
Detroit to make an aggressive push to accelerate its young core's
Alongside Cade Cunningham, similarly to Ball and Haliburton,
Bridges would be consistently fed and convert those opportunities
with efficiency. Also, Bridges wouldn’t need to have a lot of the
scoring load on his shoulders thanks to the presence of Cunningham
and No. 5 overall pick Jaden Ivey.
The Pistons’ core with Bridges added into the mix becomes a fun
team to monitor over the next few years. Cuningham and Ivey as the
lead ball-handlers, with the yin-yang wing combination of Bridges
and Saddiq Bey sounds like pure perfection.
Bridges, a Michigan native, would certainly welcome a homecoming
opportunity for the right price as well.
SAN ANTONIO SPURS
The Spurs seem very intent on the tanking path following their
blockbuster trade that sent Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks on
Wednesday. Would pursuing Bridges on a near-max salary really make
sense on their new timeline? It’s unlikely, but this is where
finding potential fits for Bridges outside of Charlotte becomes
Bridges would certainly get his looks as the No. 1 option in San
Antonio, but I don’t see why either side would pursue this
potential free-agent partnership. Expect to see San Antonio linked
to a lot of players over the next week thanks to its immense
amounts of cap space now available.
In the end, I would wager on Bridges returning to the Hornets on
a new lucrative multi-year deal. However, we’ve seen crazier things
happen in the NBA at this time of the year.
Wherever Bridges eventually lands, his scoring will be well
coveted in a wing-first league nowadays.
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