Players like Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges don’t enter restricted free agency often. Usually teams work to extend 24-year-old budding stars who average north of 20 points per game before it gets to this stage, but that hasn’t been the case for Bridges thus far.
Now with less than a week before the NBA free agency period begins on June 30, momentum continues to build, suggesting the Hornets might not be able to strike a deal with Bridges. Chances are, if Bridges became an unrestricted free agent, he’d have several teams looking to clear cap space so they can offer him a max contract. Either way, a team with cap space, like the Detroit Pistons will step up to the plate with a massive offer for the young swingman.
NBA insider suggests Hornets won’t pay Miles Bridges max money
According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, the Hornets to this point are unwilling to pay Miles Bridges a max contract extension worth five years, $173 million. Yet, other NBA execs expect Bridges to receive a max contract, even if it’s not from the Hornets.
Teams not named the Hornets can sign Bridges to a four-year, $130 million contract this offseason, which is an offer Charlotte would have 48 hours to decide to match.
On one hand, it’s easy to understand why the Hornets feel like they have all the negotiation power, since they can offer Bridges more money than any other team, and have the ability to match any offer he receives. But on the other hand, just pay the man. There’s no need to pinch pennies when trying to appease your star talent.
What’s the big difference in a few million dollars when it could be the difference of having a playoff roster built around LaMelo Ball for the future, or having to start over again, finding fresh talent than can play up to the level that Bridges already has?
The Hornets could be walking a fine line by playing hardball with one of their stars, that’s all I’m saying.