In what can be filed as a very expected development, Miles Bridges is not expected to be with the Hornets beyond this season. This comes via Yahoo Sports' Jake Fischer, who states that it is widely believed that this will be Bridges' last season in Charlotte. While some may be caught off guard by this news, they shouldn't.
The Hornets are a team that is clearly in transition, with a midseason sell-off all but guaranteed. There is also a very good chance that the current front office and coaching staff are let go, either during the season or immediately after. With the expected change on the horizon, it would not be that far-fetched for whoever takes over in Charlotte to let impending unrestricted free agents walk while bringing in their own players to take their place. This would point toward the possible outcome of Bridges being elsewhere when next season begins.
It is not only the possibility of a new regime wanting to bring in their own guys that seems to indicate a possible Bridges departure. It is understanding the multi-year financial commitments the team already has on the books that would make Bridges the odd man out moving forward. Brandon Miller and P.J. Washington are under contract for the foreseeable future, and these are two players who just happen to see minutes at the same spots as Bridges. This increases the likelihood that the former Michigan State Spartan's time in Charlotte has a definitive end date.
Any potential departure of Bridges would not be related to his ability to stuff the stat sheet. The 25-year-old is currently averaging 20.3 points on 51% from the field and 45.2% from deep, in addition to 7.6 rebounds in 36.4 minutes per game, all career-highs. There is a very good chance that Bridges will be able to secure a multi-year contract following this season, but the chances of that coming in Charlotte do not appear likely.
Of course, there is a possibility that the Hornets look to retain Bridges beyond this season, but it must be mentioned that pretty much no one expects that to happen. There are certain restrictions an organization like the Hornets has to operate with, and it may not be feasible to extend Bridges' time in Charlotte because of this. It would be different if there was something resembling a clean slate financially after this year, but the high amount of money owed to certain players is going to make high-profile acquisitions difficult without removing one or more players from the equation. Until that happens, expect Bridges to be in a different uniform next season, if not sooner.