The Charlotte Hornets have started the season off strong as they defeated the Portland Trail Blazers on Halloween to push their record to 5-2. Miles Bridges has been one of the biggest surprises thus far as his stock has been rising in fantasy basketball while star James Harden’s value has been dropping steadily.
Miles Bridges Rejected a Contract Extension This Offseason
The Charlotte Hornets offered a contract extension to Miles Bridges but both sides couldn’t seem to agree before the contract extension deadline. Bridges was a member of the star-studded 2018 Draft Class and was subsequently dealt to the Hornets for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst stated that the average annual value was in the range of $15 million per year.
Windhorst went on to say, “When he was in negotiations for his extension, I’m told that the Hornets’ baseline offer was four years, $60MM,” Windhorst said. “… That was Charlotte’s baseline offer. They may have come up, but they were never really close.”
Another member of the 2018 class, Mikal Bridges, was selected two spots ahead of Miles Bridges. Mikal was on the Phoenix Suns team that made it to the NBA Finals last season and set the tone for what three-and-D forward’s on a rookie scale extension should expect. Many around the league believe the four-year extension worth $90 million was an overpay to what Miles received this offseason.
Miles Bridges decided to bet on himself for the upcoming season, and he has exceeded expectations through seven games this season. While it is only a small sample size as there are 75 more games to go in the regular season.
He most likely will not be able to maintain the pace he is on as he is averaging 24.6 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 2.7 APG, and 1.6 steals per game. His minutes per game have bumped up this season from 29.3 per game last season to 35.4.
Bridges has increased his usage rate as he is more involved in the offense this season while guard Terry Rozier has been dealing with an ankle injury. Bridges recorded 19 points, nine assists, six rebounds, and a block against the Trail Blazers as Rozier returned to the starting lineup.
Bridges is Set to be a Restricted Free Agent After This Season
Bridges has been a pleasant surprise for the organization as he took home Eastern Conference Player of the Week Hornets head coach James Borrego praised him for his work ethic and performance. The front office may have missed out on signing him on a rookie scale extension, but the team doesn’t have to worry about extending him for the future at this moment.
As long as he is part of the team’s future, the team is in the driver’s seat to retain him after this season. Bridges pointed out that he will not sign for the $30 million less, but being a restricted free agent has its benefits to some degree.
The Hornets will have the opportunity to match any offer sheet if Bridges signs with another team this offseason as they will have a few days. If the Hornets do not match the offer Bridges will sign with the team that he agreed to sign with. The Hornets only regret is not offering a better deal in the offseason.