The NBA trade deadline is a mere 48 hours away as of the time of this writing, and despite many rumors swirling, actual movement seems to have mostly stagnated. Other than the Steven Adams for Victor Oladipo swap of injured players, there hasn’t been a trade in weeks.
If anything, the latest reports seem to indicate that the most ballyhooed players, like Dejounte Murray, Alex Caruso, and others are increasingly likely to stay put. This is relevant to the Hornets, as they’ve had several players involved in trade rumors.
On the latest episode of the ‘Good Word’ podcast, with Vincent Goodwill and Jake Fischer, of Yahoo Sports, there was an in-depth discussion about Miles Bridges, his trade market, and impending free agency this offseason.
They reiterated the general sentiment that the Suns are the most interested team for Bridges, also adding that there are at least two other teams that have reached out. But went on to say (partly due to the Suns’ lack of assets to trade), that there is now a “strong” chance Bridges will stay in Charlotte through the deadline.
Fischer and Goodwill also described the Bridges market as “weird” due to the fact that he was suspended for domestic violence, and he’s on an expiring contract. Any team that trades for him would not acquire his Bird Rights to re-sign him in the offseason.
They added that the Hornets have been asking teams for their best young player plus a first-round pick in exchange for Bridges, and so far teams are unwilling to meet that asking price. This all adds up to the team likely keeping Bridges, and re-signing him to a long-term deal this offseason using Bird Rights.
With Bridges locked up this offseason, he would be more attractive to potential suitors, and more teams would be able to put together an intriguing package for the Hornets. This time next year, if Bridges is still playing well, he’ll be just 26 years old, and likely on a multi-year deal, which could make him a top target at the 2025 deadline.
If the best return the Hornets can get now is second-round picks, they’d be best served to just hang onto him, and look to trade him at a later point. If he continues to play as well as he has lately, he’ll be a nice addition to a contending team next year, or play a helpful role for the rebuilding Hornets.