The Charlotte Hornets are reportedly “gathering traction” on a deal with Miles Bridges, the restricted free agent forward who last played for the team in the 2021-22 season, according to ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski.
Bridges, of course, has been away from the team this season after being arrested in June on domestic violence charges. He pled no contest in November and will not face any jail time.
While Bridges is not facing further legal punishment, that does not mean that he is free to return immediately. His case is still being investigated by the NBA, and he is likely facing a suspension upon his return. Unfortunately, this is not the first time a Charlotte player has faced a suspension relating to domestic violence; former Hornets guard Jeffery Taylor was suspended for 24 games during the 2014-15 season in the aftermath of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge.
According to Wojnarowski, Bridges and his Klutch Sports representation have been in discussion with the Hornets about efforts to bring Bridges back, including making plans for Bridges to work with domestic violence groups in the greater Charlotte area.
After a breakout season in which he averaged 20.2 points and 7.0 rebounds, Bridges appeared to be in line to receive a lucrative contract extension upon the beginning of the NBA’s free agency period. However, his initial arrest occurred just as the NBA’s free agency period was set to begin, throwing Bridges’ career and the Hornets’ offseason plans into serious jeopardy.
Bridges’ impact has clearly been missed this season, as the Hornets sit at 8-24 and are currently in 14th place in the Eastern Conference. Star point guard LaMelo Ball has missed all but eight games, while veteran forward Gordon Hayward has already missed 15 contests.