Prominent NBA reporter links Hornets star to 3 teams in trade rumors

Jan 22, 2024; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges (0) shoots over Karl-Anthony Towns.
Jan 22, 2024; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges (0) shoots over Karl-Anthony Towns. / Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

As trade season rolls on and the hot stove heats up every day, more and more rumors will hit the airwaves. Some of the rumors may have some substance, while others may simply be people throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks.

One of the most reliable NBA reporters in the game, Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports emptied his notebook today and included several interesting tidbits relating to the Hornets. First, he discussed how trading Terry Rozier has reset the point guard market to an extent.

Since Charlotte was able to corral a first round pick, teams are now using that as a starting point for guards like Malcolm Brogdon and Tyus Jones, while the Hawks are seeking at least two first round picks in any Dejounte Murray deal. 

This bodes well for the Hornets, as it means the league views the Rozier deal favorably for them, and would indicate that they got more value than what was perceived fair for Terry around the NBA.

Miles Bridges Rumors

The more interesting nuggets were about current Hornet, Miles Bridges. Fischer noted that the Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns, and Detroit Pistons have all registered interest in trading for Bridges ahead of the February 8th deadline.

Bridges is a total albatross in this market. He’s a very productive young offensive player on a very reasonable contract, yet his off-court issues simply cannot be ignored as they factor into his current value. So there is obviously a market for Bridges, but Hornets fans need to come to terms with the reality that the trade return won’t be anything close to that of a typical return for a 25 year old who is averaging over 20 points and 7 rebounds per game.

The other issue with Bridges is that since he signed the Qualifying Offer this past offseason, Bridges can veto any trade this season, and any team that does trade for him will not acquire his Bird Rights. So teams would essentially be looking at a half-season rental before Bridges hits the market as an unrestricted free agent this coming offseason.

Still, Bridges is obviously a very talented young player that could help a lot of teams this season (and beyond), and some may even see his depressed value as an opportunity to buy-low. This is clearly the case for the Suns, who are bereft of assets but need to add talent to their roster ASAP.

Phoenix Suns Interested

With their current cap/roster situation, the Suns would never have a chance at a player like Bridges if not for his reduced price tag. They can really only build a package around 2nd round picks and players like Nassir Little and Bol Bol. This certainly is not an appealing package for the Hornets and should only be viewed as a last resort.

Utah Jazz Interested

The Jazz can make a much more intriguing offer for Bridges, but will they? The Jazz have an eye more towards the future than the present, so they would have to be fairly confident they could sell Bridges on what they are building, and convince him to re-sign in Utah this offseason. Otherwise there is really no reason for them to push in any chips for a rental.

But if the Jazz do see Bridges as a longterm piece they have a treasure trove of draft picks to make it happen, including a staggering 15 first round picks between now and 2030. They can’t possibly use all of those picks, so if they like Bridges as a target, it would make sense to offer a couple of protected future 1sts to make it happen; something the Hornets should strongly consider.

Detroit Pistons Interested

The Pistons are interesting buyers here as they currently own the league’s worst record. But they don’t want to be embarrassingly bad, and clearly want to add talented players however they can. Bridges is from Flint, Michigan and played his college ball at Michigan State, so this would be a homecoming of sorts for Miles. Perhaps after his off-court issues he would welcome a change of scenery to play for his hometown team, where he would play a major role immediately.

Lingering over all of these deals, as Fischer mentions, is the fact that by trading Terry Rozier, the Hornets opened up a path to cap space this offseason. They could simply hold onto Bridges through the deadline and re-sign him to stay in Charlotte this summer. That also provides strong leverage for Charlotte, as teams around the league now have a heightened sense of urgency to get him in their building now, so that they can push to sign him in free agency.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, if the Hornets can get a 1st round pick or two, or any decent prospects, that’s a deal they have to make. But if the best offers they get are just second round picks and salary filler, then they should be willing to ride it out with Bridges, see how the team looks with LaMelo Ball, Brandon Miller, Miles Bridges, and (hopefully!) Mark Williams playing together, and then reconsider their moves after the season.