According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Charlotte Hornets and forward Miles Bridges are nearing an agreement on a new contract.
ESPN Sources: The Charlotte Hornets and restricted free agent forward Miles Bridges are gathering traction in talks on a new deal and optimism exists that an agreement could come in the relative near future: https://t.co/JQoDc5HbYv— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 23, 2022
If and when the two sides come to terms on a deal, Bridges will almost assuredly be faced with a suspension, as Woj notes in his second Tweet.
The sooner sides can reach a deal, the sooner Bridges can seemingly start serving an NBA suspension expected to be handed down for his role in an offseason domestic violence case. Bridges plead no contest to a felony charge in November.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 23, 2022
There’s no word yet on what kind of suspension Bridges would be facing, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes him through the end of the season, meaning he’ll rejoin the team for the summer.
Bridges is also on probation for his crimes for the next three years with a number of conditions. There’s a good chance there will be provisions in the contract that are focused on his legal situation and off court conditions. It appears Bridges and his representation are aware of the optics of the situation, as Woj notes in his article:
Bridges and his representatives with Klutch Sports have been in consistent contact with the Hornets organization, and the sides are working together on Bridges’ plans to work with local domestic violence groups and community organizations to start reacclimating himself to the Charlotte community.
The Hornets will have to navigate the PR blowback of signing a player who was accused of (and pleaded no-contest to) a pretty heinous crime. Bridges will surely provide a huge on court boost to the team assuming this goes through, but the situation is much more complicated than that.