Hornets forward Miles Bridges met the “starter criteria” on Friday when he appeared in Charlotte’s starting lineup for the 41st time this season. The starter criteria applies to players who are eligible for restricted free agency at season’s end, and dictates the amount of their qualifying offer. By meeting the criteria, Bridges ensured his qualifying offer will increase to $7,921,300.
The amount of Bridges’ qualifying offer probably won’t have much of an impact on his free agency. He’s having a breakout season and is a good bet to be paid in excess of $20MM per year on his next contract, so accepting his one-year QO likely won’t be an option he seriously considers, even now that it’s worth a little more.
Rockets forward Jae’Sean Tate also met the starter criteria on Friday by making his 41st start of the season, but Houston holds a minimum-salary team option on Tate for the 2022/23 season, so he won’t reach restricted free agency until ’23, assuming he’s not extended before then.
Here’s more from around the Southeast:
- The Wizards announced today that Pat Delany, who was serving as the team’s acting head coach while Wes Unseld Jr. is in the COVID-19 protocols, has entered the protocols himself. Assistant Joseph Blair, Washington’s new acting head coach, told reporters that star guard Bradley Beal has exited the protocols and will be a game-time decision on Monday (Twitter link via Josh Robbins of The Athletic).
- In an article for The Athletic, Robbins and David Aldridge discussed the Wizards‘ needs and identified some possible trade targets for the team, including Jerami Grant, Harrison Barnes, and Thaddeus Young.
- Heat guard Kyle Lowry won’t face his old team for the first time on Monday after all, having been ruled out of Miami’s game vs. Toronto for personal reasons, as Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel tweets.
- Veteran guard Mario Chalmers admitted he was disappointed not to play at all during his recent 10-day stint with the Heat, but said he didn’t want to be a “disruption” for the team and is looking forward to proving with Miami’s G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, that he deserves another shot at the NBA level. “Hopefully another 10-day comes out of it and I get signed for the rest of the year,” Chalmers said, per Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald.