NBA Rumors: Miles Bridges is expected to make a return to the Charlotte Hornets next season.
Coming off a season in which the Charlotte Hornets finished with the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference and the four-worst recorded overall in the NBA, this is a franchise that finds itself in an identity crisis. Aside from LaMelo Ball, there are not many bright spots on this roster.
Heading into the offseason, the Hornets are in a desperate need to upgrade the roster. But that’s easier said than done. And it seems that their desperation could very well lead them back to an old face. Miles Bridges
Bridges has officially been suspended for 30 games for his domestic violence incident by the NBA. Like it or not, the suspension effectively reopens the door for Bridges to make a return to the NBA. And according to a recent report (subscription required), that return is widely expected to take place with the Hornets next season.
He’s currently a restricted free agent after not playing at all during the 2022-23 NBA season and Charlotte can match any deal he may ink on the open market. Though, I have a hard time believing any team is going to roll the dice from a public relations standpoint to sign him to an offer sheet only to have the Hornets match it.
That leaves the Hornets in a bidding war against themselves for Bridges this offseason and it’s looking more and more like a foregone conclusion that he will be back at some point.
During the 2021-22 season, Bridges averaged a career-high 20 points, seven rebounds, and four assists per game on 49 percent shooting from the field. One year removed from the NBA game (and a 30-game suspension), there’s no predicting what Bridges will look like when/if he does return to the NBA. But it seems like it’s worth the gamble for a team like the Hornets
The Hornets are projected to have a top 5 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft and will theoretically have money to spend in free agency, even more so if they decline Bridges his restricted status.
There are so many layers to this potential return for Bridges, including what price point he’s going to come at. Before his legal issues, Bridges was going to sign a huge contract extension with the Hornets. Now, that seems like a highly unlikely scenario.
If Bridges does make a return to the NBA next season, it will be in Charlotte.