Among the most intriguing free agents who will hit the market officially on Thursday afternoon is Hornets forward Miles Bridges, who had a breakout in this fourth season and set himself up for a handsome payday this summer.
As a restricted free agent, the Hornets can match any offer on Bridges, but given the team’s history, there was genuine reason to wonder if they’d match a max or near-max offer that might come his way. Reports indicated they might balk at such an offer, with Detroit primed to throw a big offer sheet at the former Michigan State star, but on Tuesday at an introductory press conference for new (and old) coach Steve Clifford, general manager Mitch Kupchak insisted they’ll be bringing Bridges back to the Queen City.
“We love Miles. We’re going to bring him back.”
Mitch Kupchak on Miles Bridges ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/FYvJw98hkE
— Bally Sports: Hornets (@HornetsOnBally) June 28, 2022
That is about as firm a statement as you’ll see from a front office executive about a player going into free agency, and for Hornets fans worried Bridges might walk this summer, it will provide some relief about the next few days. We’ll find out what kind of deal Bridges ends up on in Charlotte in the next week, but this appears to take one of the best young free agents off the market. For a team like the Pistons, this may force them to shift attention to a Plan B now that the Hornets have stated their intentions in no uncertain terms.