Miles Bridges checks a lot of chests. A native of Flint, Michigan, a former Michigan State superstar, oh, he’s really good at basketball.
The 24-year-old striker has also entered restricted free agency, and it’s no surprise that some Detroit Pistons fans scoff at the idea of Bridges joining their favorite team.
But will Charlotte really let Bridges, who is coming off a breakout season with an average of 20 points, 7 rebounds and 3.8 assists, go? It remains to be seen, but reports suggest the Hornets may not be willing to give him a maximum contract.
Well, there is a big difference between “currently not offering a maximum contract” and “not wanting to offer a maximum contract”.
As a restricted free agent, the Hornets have a right of first refusal when it comes to Bridges. That is, if the Hornets offered a maximum contract to Bridges now, they would only have an offer against themselves. Instead, the Hornets are comfortable making what they feel is a competitive proposition and seeing if Bridges can bring a more important deal to the table than another team.
The only risk the Hornets incur by deploying this strategy is to inconvenience Bridges, but a great thing for hurt feelings is the $120 million contract balm.
However, it is somewhat interesting that the Hornets have not yet made a maximum bid. It could be a sign that the team doesn’t think they are a max player, or it could be an indication of an already strained relationship. While there isn’t much news on this front, Bridges did take “Charlotte Hornets” off his Twitter bio. Maybe this means something. Maybe not.
Either way, Bridges’s place of play next season is ultimately up to Charlotte. If he’s able to get a better bid than another team and the Hornets don’t match, Charlotte loses him for nothing. I can’t see that this is an acceptable outcome for Charlotte, but strange things have happened, and if the team doesn’t really feel like a max player, Jupiter’s remorse may be more than if they decide to let him walk.
So let’s say Bridges gets a better offer and Hornets isn’t ready to match. Does it make sense for the Pistons to be the team doing this show?
There has been a lot of good PR for the Pistons in this off season. They probably landed Jaden Ivey’s highest-grossing goalkeeper in the draft, and also added one of Jalen Duren’s top athletic men.
Ivy also has strong Detroit ties with his mother, father, and grandfather who played sports in Detroit.
Adding another local star to the fold would bring up an already encouraging case.
Despite Bridges’ quality, his fitness on this current team isn’t perfect.
Problem adding Miles Bridges to Detroit
Miles Bridges: More than half of his shots come within 10 feet.
Galen Doreen: Two-thirds of the shots are within 10 feet
Jaden Ivey: 60% of shots are within 10 feet
– Sean Corp (@sean_corp) 27 June 2022
As Sean Corp tweeted yesterday, Bridges is all about getting paint and drawing bugs. Bridges had nearly six three-pointers in a game last season and cleared just 33.1% of his attempts.
In a rotation that relies heavily on Isaiah Stewart, Duren, Ivey and Killian Hayes, there aren’t many shooters to take advantage of this team’s suddenly explosive skill set.
On the other hand, there are a lot of question marks in the above list of players. We don’t yet know what the Pistons have in the rookies, and Hayes as a viable NBA player remains largely theoretical as he enters the third year of his career.
Should the Pistons really gamble on these players to evolve when there is a man with obvious ties to Detroit who is already the best player in the NBA? Who knows if any of these guys will match the Bridges production.
Pay for bridges, or gamble on your young heart – it’s a risk either way. However, facing the Bridges is a gamble that will cost Pistons north of $100 million.
Right now, it’s hard to see Charlotte letting Bridges go without getting anything in return. It’s unlikely the Pistons would be willing to negotiate a deal with a maximum or nearly a maximum of Bridges, and his suitability for Detroit’s core players isn’t great.
If the Pistons go after bridges, I won’t fault them – sometimes you can grab talent and arrange the rest later. It would also be hard not to get excited to add a player with his potential. At 24, he might just be scratching the surface. I’m not sure it’s the best move for the Pistons, and I think Detroit might be better off seeing what they have from their current core and allocating some of their money to veterans who better complement their current core.
what do you think?