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NBA execs expect Miles Bridges to receive max contract in free agency

Andrew Buller-Russ

Though the NBA has yet to announce the official start date of free agency, chances are, we’re less than two weeks from when players can agree to new contracts with teams. One of the more well-known players who is expected to hit free agency is Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges.

Despite the Hornets not yet deciding who their next head coach will be, they likely won’t want to let Bridges get away. Yet, there’s a possibility for Bridges to land elsewhere with the team reportedly hesitant to meet his contract demands.

Miles Bridges could change teams this offseason

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Atlanta Hawks
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

At 24, Bridges has developed into one of the best players on the Charlotte Hornets, averaging 20.2 points per game, adding 7 rebounds per game. He’s become a valued member of their young core, but to be honest, it’s LaMelo Ball’s team and everyone knows it.

Perhaps this is partially why the organization is rumored to be skeptical of signing Bridges to a max-level contract. But as Shams Charania of The Athletic reports, NBA execs anticipate Bridges will be able to command a max-level deal, even if it’s not from the Hornets. The most another team can offer Bridges is a four-year, $130 million contract.

With Bridges set to be a restricted free agent, the Hornets have the advantage of being able to match whatever other teams offer. Yet, with them holding his Bird rights, the Hornets can offer a higher-level max contract than any other organization with a five-year, $173 million contract.

But if the rumors are true, and if the Hornets aren’t willing to pay top dollar to keep their young star, another team can sign Bridges to an offer sheet, giving Charlotte 48 hours to match the offer. We’ll see what happens over the next few weeks.

Related: 5 ideal Miles Bridges landing spots in NBA free agency