Hornets’ Miles Bridges Expected To Land $173M Contract

Miles Bridges, Charlotte Hornets, NBA Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The Charlotte Hornets may be the No. 10 seed in the Eastern Conference, taking part in the NBA Play-In Tournament for a second consecutive year, but the 2021-22 season is certainly a success for them. They had a 10-win increase from last season, going 43-39 and securing their first winning record since the 2015-16 season.

The Hornets are certainly on the right path. While they would have liked to stay out of the Play-In Tournament, they had to overcome some injuries again. When Gordon Hayward went down, they lost nine out of 10 games to push them out of the sixth seed.

James Borrego did a wonderful job righting the ship, adjusting his personnel and lineups to compensate for the losses. The relationships that he has built with his team, especially the young stars, are something every franchise attains to have.

One of those young stars is point guard LaMelo Ball. He made his first All-Star team this year, which should be the first of many. He will be with the team for at least another two seasons before his rookie contract expires. The same cannot be said about Miles Bridges, who is hitting free agency this summer.

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Bridges just completed his fourth season in the NBA and broke out in a major way. He averaged 20.2 points per game, emerging as the team’s second star alongside Ball. He added seven rebounds and 3.8 assists per game as well, giving the Charlotte Hornets another foundational piece.

However, Charlotte will have to contend with other teams in free agency to retain his services. Miles Bridges turned down a four-year, $60 million offer before the season, betting on himself. He won that bet, as Bridges is now looking at a monster second contract.

“Bridges is clearly the present and future wing Charlotte wants to develop alongside Ball. After Bridges’ camp declined a four-year, $60 million contract offer last fall, sources confirmed, he is expected to command a maximum salary that could total five years, $173 million this summer. League personnel believe the Hornets will match any offer sheet for Bridges. That could either dissuade teams from making an earnest attempt at signing him, unnecessarily tying their hands for 48 hours. Or it may encourage a rival suitor to force Charlotte to pay his full max, as the Brooklyn Nets once did with Washington and Otto Porter.”

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One thing working in Charlotte’s favor is that there aren’t many teams projected to have a lot of cap space this offseason. One team who could be a thorn in their side and present a massive offer to Bridges is the Portland Trail Blazers. They cleared the decks ahead of the NBA Trade Deadline to have a chance at reshaping their roster this offseason around Damian Lillard.

Another team to keep an eye on could be the Detroit Pistons. While they are reportedly in the market for a center, it isn’t outside the realm of possibilities that they pursue the Flint, Michigan native, especially if they trade Jerami Grant this offseason.

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Luckily for the Charlotte Hornets, since Miles Bridges is a restricted free agent, they can match any offer sheet that he may sign. Based on what Bleacher Report shared, it sounds as if they will exercise that right and keep him in the Queen City for the next few years.