Miles Bridges

Hornets Notes: Chemistry, Bridges, Gibson, Jackson, M. Williams, Black

LaMelo Ball, Miles Bridges, Brandon Miller, Mark Williams, Grant Williams, and several other Hornets players were in attendance at Tuesday’s Summer League game alongside new president of basketball operations Jeff Peterson and player enhancement coach Kemba Walker, according to Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer.

Summer League head coach Josh Longstaff said it “speaks volumes” to have the team’s veterans in the building “coaching up” and “cheering on” the Summer League squad, while guard Nick Smith Jr. added that it felt good to have “my big brothers (there) to support us.”

“It’s special, man,” Grant Williams said. “We are just trying to support one another, make sure we understand that team is first and team matters and really, really just committed to getting better and improving and making it a premier organization in the league.”

There are other signs of positive vibes around the organization this summer, according to Boone, who notes that co-owners Rick Schnall and Gabe Plotkin hosted a dinner event on Monday night in Las Vegas that included all of the Hornets’ players as well as a significant number of team personnel. Veteran big man Taj Gibson, the newest member of the roster, was among those impressed, Boone writes.

“It was really nice,” Gibson said. “To be honest with you, just meeting the ownership alone … First you see the ownership, the ownership is so welcoming. Those gentlemen, their energy is just vibrant in how they move and how they already circled and brought all the pieces together last night. It was like a family reunion, because that’s how relaxed we were. Talking, laughing, talking about what it’s going to be like. It was great, just to have that dialect.”

Gibson added that the team’s budding chemistry was on display at the event: “I’ve been to many of those dinners where every guy is over there, guys are over there. But (Monday) night, everybody was mixing. Everybody.”

Here’s more on the Hornets:

  • Bridges’ new three-year, $75MM contract with the Hornets has a descending structure, according to Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter link). The deal, which is fully guaranteed with no options, is worth $27,173,913 in 2024/25, exactly $25MM in ’25/26, and $22,826,087 in ’26/27.
  • Gibson’s one-year, minimum-salary deal is partially guaranteed, Hoops Rumors has learned. Gibson is assured of receiving at least $1,082,270 and would lock in his full $3,303,771 salary if he remains under contract through the league-wide guarantee deadline of January 7.
  • While the signings of Gibson and Seth Curry bring the Hornets’ roster count to 15 players on standard contracts, that number could dip to 14 soon, Boone writes for the Charlotte Observer, noting that Reggie Jackson is considered unlikely to open the regular season with the team. The expectation is that Jackson will be cut at some point to allow him to try to catch on with a team closer to contention, according to Boone.
  • In a pair of exclusive interviews, Boone spoke to Hornets center Mark Williams about his efforts to bounce back from an injury-plagued 2023/24 season and to two-way player Leaky Black about his desire to earn a place on Charlotte’s standard 15-man roster.

Hornets Re-Sign Miles Bridges To Three-Year Deal

JULY 14: Bridges officially signed his deal to return to Charlotte, the Hornets announced (Twitter link).

JULY 6: The Hornets are re-signing free agent forward Miles Bridges, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). According to Adrian Wojnarowksi of ESPN (Twitter links), Bridges’ new deal will be worth $75MM over three years and won’t include a team or player option.

After accepting his one-year, $7.9MM qualifying offer as a restricted free agent last summer, Bridges averaged 21.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 3.3 assists in 69 games for the Hornets last season, posting a shooting line of .462/.349/.825. His contract gave him veto rights on any trade and he told the team in February that he intended to exercise those rights rather than approve a deal elsewhere.

While that stance was partly about not wanting to lose his Bird rights, Bridges also repeatedly expressed a desire to remain in Charlotte, and that interest was reciprocated by the Hornets’ front office, led by new head of basketball operations Jeff Peterson. The two sides have made good on those public comments by agreeing to terms nearly a week into free agency.

Bridges’ scoring ability, size, and versatility are ideal for an NBA forward, but his market in free agency was almost certainly affected by his off-court history, which includes multiple allegations of domestic violence.

Facing three felony charges after being accused of assaulting his then-girlfriend in front of their two children, Bridges entered a plea of no contest — accepting punishment without formally admitting guilt — to one felony count of injuring a child’s parent in November 2022.

The Hornets forward received three years probation and no jail time as part of the plea deal, which led to a 30-game suspension from the NBA (he was permitted to serve just 10 games of that suspension because he spent the entire 2022/23 season out of the league while his case played out). He subsequently faced three additional criminal counts related to a separate incident, but those were dismissed this February due to insufficient evidence.

Charlotte has been keeping Bridges’ $15MM cap hold on its books during the early part of free agency. The club will use up all of its cap room on other deals before going over the cap to re-sign Bridges using his Bird rights.

Stein’s Latest: Ingram, Bridges, Cavs, Mavs, Westbrook

The Pelicans have “intensified” their efforts to trade Brandon Ingram in the past few days, league sources tell Marc Stein (Substack link).

Apparently the desire for a deal is mutual, as Ingram is disappointed that New Orleans has been unwilling to offer him a lucrative long-term extension. Stein hears that Ingram’s representatives have been looking at trade options.

Aside from moving Ingram, the Pels are focused on trying to sign Trey Murphy to a rookie scale extension, Stein writes. They’re also looking for depth up front after Jonas Valanciunas agreed to a three-year deal with Washington.

According to Stein, the Kings, who have explored trading for several forwards, are one potential suitor for Ingram.

Here’s more from Stein’s latest rumor round up:

  • The Cavaliers have been described as a “team to watch” in a possible sign-and-trade for Hornets forward Miles Bridges, though Stein isn’t sure how serious Cleveland’s interest is. Bridges is “known to be interested” in sign-and-trade scenarios, Stein adds.
  • The Mavericks are “sure to re-sign” free agent forward Markieff Morris, according to Stein, who says Dallas is also looking for minimum-salary backcourt depth. Morris hinted at returning to the Mavs on Wednesday.
  • Sources tell Stein the Mavericks offered Derrick Jones the same three-year, $27MM contract that Naji Marshall accepted, but evidently Jones was looking to maximize his earnings, which is why he agreed to a three-year, $30MM deal with the Clippers. Stein hears the Mavs weren’t sure how much money Jones would command and were wary of a bidding war, which is why they switched their attention to Marshall, a player they like.
  • According to Stein, the Nuggets continue to show the “most tangible” interest in Clippers guard Russell Westbrook, who is considered likely to be on another team to open the 2024/25 season.

Free Agent Rumors: DeRozan, Kings, Spurs, Morris, Bridges, Jones

Following up on a report from Marc J. Spears stating that Sacramento is a “dark horse” suitor to watch for DeMar DeRozan, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald confirms (via Twitter) that the Kings and Bulls have had discussions about a possible sign-and-trade deal involving the free agent forward.

The Spurs have also emerged as a possibility for DeRozan, Jackson adds. The 34-year-old previously spent three seasons playing for Gregg Popovich in San Antonio from 2018-21.

While Jackson (Twitter link) isn’t entirely ruling out the Heat for DeRozan, he notes that the club’s cap situation makes it impossible to give the forward the kind of contract he’s seeking, so the front office seems more likely to preserve its assets in case a better trade opportunity arises — as a first-apron team, Miami would be in a better position to acquire a player who is already under contract than a free agent like DeRozan via sign-and-trade.

Here are a few more free agent rumors and notes from around the NBA:

  • The Sixers have expressed interest in the possibility of a reunion with free agent forward and Philadelphia native Marcus Morris, multiple sources tell Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. However, the 76ers aren’t the only team eyeing Morris. The Pistons, Hornets, Cavaliers, Mavericks, Heat, and Timberwolves have all expressed some level of interest too, Pompey writes.
  • It’s unclear where Miles Bridges will end up, according to Rod Boone of The Charlotte Observer, who says that the Pistons‘ interest seems to have dwindled following their front office and coaching changes, while the Sixers were “never in” on the free agent forward. The Hornets and Bridges publicly expressed interest in a new deal earlier in the offseason, but they’ve had over two weeks to talk and still don’t appear to have momentum toward an agreement. “I think they end up signing and trading Bridges,” a rival executive told Boone.
  • The Clippers continue to have interest in bringing back Kai Jones, but the free agent big man has an ankle injury that will prevent him from suiting up for Summer League, a source tells Law Murray of The Athletic (Twitter link).
  • The Pistons are one of the only teams that still has significant cap room available and they’ll need to at least reach the minimum salary floor before the season begins. Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press (subscription required) suggests a few potential free agents targets for Detroit, including Malik Beasley and Gary Trent Jr., while James L. Edwards III of The Athletic considers trade scenarios that might make sense for the club’s cap room.

L.A. Notes: Bridges, George, Tucker, Gentry, Thompson, Bronny James, Hood-Schifino

The Clippers have some interest in free agent forward Miles Bridges, Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times reports. Bridges averaged 21.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists last season for the Hornets but his history of domestic violence allegations may have turned off some potential suitors. A sign-and trade would likely be required for the Clippers, with Norman Powell ($19.2MM) and Terance Mann ($11.5MM) among the potential trade pieces if something comes to fruition, Turner writes.

Law Murray of The Athletic confirms that the Clippers are exploring the possibility of adding Bridges, but he believes that the forward has more interest in the potential union than the team does. According to Turner, people close to Bridges view the Clippers as a fit due to the organization’s apparent willingness to give players second chances.

Los Angeles reached a deal earlier in free agency with guard Kevin Porter Jr., who also faced domestic violence allegations, and previously signed Joshua Primo, who was waived by the Spurs after he was accused of exposing himself to multiple women.

We have more on the Los Angeles teams:

  • An interesting side note on the failed Clippers-George negotiations, which led to his departure to Philadelphia: George, a California native, was “increasingly turned off” by the Clippers’ belief that he would stay with the team just so that his family could attend the games, according to The Athletic’s Murray.
  • In the same story, Murray reports that the Clippers are expected to part ways with P.J. Tucker this offseason, either by trading or waiving him. Tucker picked up his $11.54MM option for next season. Using the stretch provision to reduce his impact on the 2024/25 cap would be an option if he’s waived, Murray notes.
  • The Lakers are interested in adding longtime NBA coach Alvin Gentry to J.J. Redick’s staff, Turner of the Los Angeles Times tweets. Gentry coached Anthony Davis and Redick in New Orleans.
  • Klay Thompson upset a member of his family by choosing to go the Mavericks instead of the Lakers, ESPN relays. Father Mychal Thompson, who played for the “Showtime Lakers” in the 1980s, wanted Klay to follow in his footsteps, he said in a SiriusXM NBA interview. “I’m really disappointed. I was hoping, as you can assess, that he would be a Laker,” Mychal said. “And it was close. It came down to the Lakers and the Mavs, but the Mavs won out. But you know me, I was hoping and praying he’d finish his career with the Lakers.”
  • There are many skeptics, but Redick said second-round pick Bronny James “earned” his way onto the Lakers, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.Rob (Pelinka) and I did not give Bronny anything,” Redick said. “Bronny has earned this. … Bronny has earned this through hard work.” LeBron James‘ son said he’s ready for the spotlight. “For sure, amplified amount of pressure,” Bronny said. “I’ve already seen it on social media and stuff, and the internet and stuff and talking about that I might not deserve an opportunity. But I’ve been dealing with st life. So it’s nothing different, but it’s more amplified, for sure. But I’ll get through it.” Bronny will sign a standard contract.
  • Lakers 2023 first-rounder Jalen Hood-Schifino won’t be on the club’s Summer League roster, Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times tweets. He’s still rehabbing from back surgery.

Southeast Notes: Wizards, Martin, Murray, Bridges

The Wizards held a press conference Saturday to introduce their three first-round picks, who are products of an aggressive strategy to add young talent in this year’s draft, writes Sapna Bansil of The Washington Post. Heading into Wednesday night with the second and 26th selections, Washington took Alexandre Sarr at No. 2 as expected, then traded up to No. 14 to grab Carlton Carrington and moved up to No. 24 to add Kyshawn George.

“We walked into [the draft] Wednesday night and had a plan in place,” general manager Will Dawkins told reporters. “We were aligned from top to bottom. We were strategic, [and] we were aggressive and made sure that we accomplished our goals. So with these three young men to my left, we feel like we’re adding a few more bricks to that base-level foundation that we talked about at the end of the season.”

Sarr, a 7’0″ center, becomes the cornerstone of the franchise and an anchor for the defense. Carrington will provide scoring punch in the backcourt, while George is a wing who can handle the ball and shoot threes. All three players are expected to be part of the Wizards’ Summer League team.

Bansil notes that for the second straight year, the front office prioritized athleticism, positional size and the ability to contribute on both ends of the court. They also looked for players who are mentally tough enough to handle rebuilding.

“Not every team [has] three first-round picks, and I think it was just very cool to be able to be with these guys that enjoy the game, are very positive and are easygoing people,” George said. “We’re all in the same boat, and getting to start this rebuild as a young group, young core is very exciting.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Heat are unlikely to be able to re-sign free agent forward Caleb Martin, a source tells Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Martin, who declined his $7.13MM player option on Saturday, may get offers for the full $12.9MM non-taxpayer mid-level exception, Chiang adds. Re-signing him would mean second-apron status for Miami, which may now prioritize keeping Haywood Highsmith. They have been talking since teams were allowed to start negotiating with their own free agents, and Chiang hears there’s mutual interest in a new deal. Chiang also reveals that second-round pick Pelle Larsson is expected to sign a standard contract for next season worth between $1-2MM, although a two-way deal remains an option depending on how the rest of the roster comes together.
  • In a SportsCenter appearance (video link), ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said there was “more of a market” to trade Dejounte Murray than fellow Hawks guard Trae Young. Murray is heading to New Orleans in exchange for a package that includes the Lakers’ first-round pick next year, and Wojnarowski said Atlanta was determined to land a selection in what’s projected to be a strong 2025 draft.
  • There’s still no clarity on Miles Bridges‘ future with the Hornets, per Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. Bridges has been able to negotiate with the team for the past week-and-a-half, but Boone states that there hasn’t been “a hint of much traction” and the forward appears ready to test the open market.

Free Agent Rumors: KCP, George, Thompson, Bridges, More

Nuggets swingman Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who is declining his 2024/25 player option and becoming an unrestricted free agent, appears more likely than not to switch teams this offseason, Marc Stein writes at Substack, citing league sources.

Stein, who has previously mentioned the Sixers and Magic as potential suitors for Caldwell-Pope, once again names them as teams who are well-positioned to make runs at the 31-year-old if they so choose, noting that Denver has luxury tax and apron concerns to consider. The veteran wing is considered to be a “strong possibility” for Orlando, per Sam Amick and Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

According to Stein, the Mavericks are another potential suitor to watch for Caldwell-Pope, with league sources saying there’s mutual interest between the two sides. However, Dallas is operating over the cap and would need to make a sign-and-trade deal to make a competitive contract offer to Caldwell-Pope. There’s a sense that the Nuggets won’t have interest in accommodating a sign-and-trade with a conference rival, Stein writes, even if it means losing their starting shooting guard for nothing.

Here are a few more free agent rumors and notes from around the NBA:

  • Within a look at Paul George‘s potential free agency, Amick and Slater of The Athletic confirm that the Warriors‘ interest in the Clippers star is “legitimate” if he decides to go the opt-in-and-trade route instead of declining his 2024/25 player option. The Nuggets also recently had interest in George in that scenario, but don’t appear prepared to pursue a deal that would see them give up Michael Porter Jr. and “significant” draft capital, per The Athletic’s duo. For what it’s worth, Denver only has one tradable future first-round pick.
  • Despite a report from their colleague Shams Charania indicating that the Sixers‘ interest in pursuing George has “waned,” Amick and Slater cite a source who advises not to rule out Philadelphia entirely. The 76ers could offer George a maximum-salary deal using their cap room if he reaches the open market.
  • The Sixers also have interest in Klay Thompson, who continues to have little contact with the Warriors as he nears free agency, according to Amick and Slater, who add that the Nuggets also have Thompson on their list of potential replacements if they lose Caldwell-Pope. It’s hard to see how Denver, whose team salary is right at the luxury tax line, could make Thompson a strong offer unless more cost-cutting moves are made.
  • Discussing unrestricted free agent forward Miles Bridges, Hornets head of basketball operations Jeff Peterson confirmed reporting that has suggested the team wants to re-sign Bridges. “I’ve made it very clear to Miles that we want him to remain as a Hornet,” Peterson said (story via Rod Boone of The Charlotte Observer).
  • Isaiah Hartenstein and Nic Claxton top John Hollinger’s list of free agent centers at The Athletic by a wide margin over the rest of the class, with Hollinger’s BORD$ formula favoring Hartenstein. Claxton already has a four-year deal lined up to remain in Brooklyn, making Hartenstein the clear top option on the open market.

Fischer’s Latest: Bridges, Bulls, Kings, Magic, Smart, More

Free agent forward Miles Bridges‘ could receive $30MM+ annually on his next contract, league sources tell Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. However, it remains to be seen if that money will come from the Hornets or another team.

According to Fischer, Charlotte is “believed to be open” to sign-and-trade concepts involving Bridges if the right opportunity arises. Sources tell Fischer the Nets discussed a Bridges trade concept with Charlotte in February that would have sent Ben Simmons to Charlotte. The Kings also inquired about Bridges ahead of the deadline, per Fischer.

As Fischer writes, the Hornets are viewed as a “salary-dumping ground” this summer as their new front office and head coach spearhead a rebuild. The same is true of the Pistons, who are looking for a new coach after dismissing Monty Williams.

Bridges’ market value has been difficult to gauge due to his off-court history, which includes multiple domestic violence allegations. One of those cases was dropped, but the other caused him to miss the entire 2022/23 season after he pleaded no contest (accepting punishment without formally admitting guilt).

Here’s more from Fischer:

  • Confirming previous reporting, Fischer hears the Bulls remain active in trade talks around the league. The Thunder, Raptors and Hornets are among the teams with interest in restricted free agent Patrick Williams, Fischer writes.
  • The Kings appear to be the most likely suitor right now for Zach LaVine, according to Fischer, who adds that Sacramento has continued shopping Harrison Barnes and Kevin Huerter in trade talks. Huerter, in particular, has drawn a “healthy amount external interest.” Still, the Bulls haven’t gained serious traction on a potential LaVine deal in several months despite being active in negotiations, sources tell Fischer. The Kings are also contemplating moving the No. 13 pick in next week’s draft, Fischer adds.
  • In previous trade windows, the Bulls pushed for unprotected picks when discussing Alex Caruso, sources tell Fischer. One scenario saw the Bulls push for four first-rounders, though presumably that total would have included protected picks. Chicago officially traded Caruso to Oklahoma City on Friday for Josh Giddey.
  • Fischer confirms LaVine is a “backup option” for the Sixers and their significant cap room. Fischer also suggests (via Twitter) the 76ers shouldn’t be ruled out as a landing spot for Paul George, despite a report from Shams Charania of The Athletic stating that their interest in George has waned as of late.
  • Fischer says the Magic are looking for a veteran wing who can space the floor, naming Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as perhaps their top target. If they lose Williams, the Bulls could have interest in Caldwell-Pope, with the Sixers another potential landing spot depending on how things work out with other targets. There are scenarios in which Orlando would exercise its $11MM team option on Joe Ingles as well, sources tell Fischer. Fischer previously touched on Klay Thompson‘s fit with the Magic.
  • The Grizzlies, who control the No. 9 pick, are known to be looking for big men, with UConn’s Donovan Clingan one draft target in a move-up scenario. However, Fischer hears from sources who say Memphis is also open to moving back in the draft. The Grizzlies are unwilling to move Marcus Smart, but Luke Kennard has drawn “strong interest” in trade talks, according to Fischer — the team holds a $14.7MM option on Kennard for 2024/25.

Moore’s Latest: Kings, Kuzma, Bulls, Bridges, Sixers, Jones, Grizzlies, More

The Kings are expected to return to the trade market this offseason with the same assets they offered Toronto for Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby earlier in 2023/24, writes Matt Moore of Harrison Barnes, Kevin Huerter, and draft compensation.

While Sacramento will do its best to re-sign Malik Monk, the team only holds his Early Bird rights and will be limited to offering him up to $78MM over four years. If Monk ends up getting away, the Kings will likely feel some additional pressure to make a trade to upgrade its rotation — and will have some additional financial flexibility to add salary.

The Kings will likely circle back to the Wizards to discuss Kyle Kuzma, according to Moore, who says Sacramento has also talked to the Bulls about Zach LaVine and Alex Caruso. LaVine, whose price tag is believed to be lower now than it ever has been, could become a more attractive target if Monk departs, Moore adds.

Here are a few more items of interest from Moore’s latest look at free agency and the trade market:

  • The Sixers are expected to have interest in forward Miles Bridges in free agency, according to Moore. Philadelphia would have more than enough cap room to make a competitive offer for Bridges, especially if it misses out on its top targets. Moore reports that the Hornets are “known to be” fans of Bulls restricted free agent Patrick Williams, so he could be a target for Charlotte if the team loses Bridges.
  • Veteran point guard Tyus Jones, who was a full-time starter this past season for the Wizards, is expected to seek a deal worth north of $15MM annually, two sources tell Moore. Jones is the No. 15 free agent on our top-50 list.
  • There’s an expectation that the Grizzlies will look to add multiple centers this summer, Moore writes, noting that Nets big man Day’Ron Sharpe is a name to watch for Memphis. A Grizzlies offer for Sharpe could consist of a second-round pick and one of their bench wings, Moore adds.
  • The Grizzlies are also among the teams that have expressed interest in Hawks center Clint Capela, along with the Wizards, Pelicans, and Bulls, Moore says.
  • The free agent market for Heat forward Haywood Highsmith is expected to start around the taxpayer mid-level exception ($5.2MM), two team cap strategists tell Moore.

Southeast Notes: Fultz, Heat, Bridges, Lee

Free agency is quickly approaching for Magic guard Markelle Fultz, who is hoping to re-sign with Orlando, writes Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel. Fultz battled through recurring problems with his left knee that limited him to 43 games this season. He began the season as a starter, but only remained in that role for 18 games and saw his numbers drop across the board as he struggled to stay on the court.

“I had my ups and downs,” Fultz said. “I had my little bumps and bruises on my knee and arms. I’m just glad I was able to finish the season out healthy. Of course, I missed some games during the season but being able to finish the year off with my brothers, have that experience of the playoffs and make it to a Game 7 was huge for me. I’m just grateful.”

After a rocky start to his NBA career, the top pick in the 2017 draft appeared to have established himself with the Magic during the 2022/23 season. He started all 60 games he played, set career highs with 14.0 points, 3.9 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game and had career-best shooting marks of 51.4% from the field and 31% from three-point range. But his future seems less certain now at age 26 and coming off an injury-riddled season.

“I understand it’s a business,” Fultz said at the team’s exit interviews. “I understand some guys are going to be gone [and] some coaches might be gone. You never know. You obviously hope for the best, but understand that you can only control what you can control, and in my eyes, I always try to do that.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Head coach Erik Spoelstra will focus on fixing the Heat‘s offense this summer, per Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Injuries made it difficult for Miami to establish any continuity as Spoelstra was forced to use 35 different starting lineups. Beyond that, Chiang points out that the Heat had difficulty with inside scoring — attempting just 28.5% of their shots around the rim, which was the third fewest in the league, and shooing 63.4% in the restricted area, which ranked seventh worst.
  • Miles Bridges‘ decision in free agency will set the tone for the rest of the Hornets‘ summer, observes Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. The team would love to re-sign Bridges, but he figures to have plenty of options on the open market after posting a career season while playing on a $7.9MM qualifying offer. Boone notes that Bridges’ $15MM cap hold and the $7.5MM salary slotted for the No. 6 pick will take up most of Charlotte’s projected cap space, so the team is limited in the moves it can make until Bridges’ situation is resolved.
  • In a separate story, Boone examines the type of head coach the Hornets are getting in Boston assistant Charles Lee, who won’t be with the team full-time until after the end of the NBA Finals.