With the 2024 NBA trade deadline officially in the past, the Charlotte Hornets will look like a far different team moving forward. Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward, P.J. Washington and James Bouknight are all off to greener pastures.
After years of retaining most of the same major roster pieces, the Hornets' new ownership opted to make changes that will define the direction of this team going forward. Management clearly sees a few select players like LaMelo Ball and Brandon Miller as key pieces to build around.
Miles Bridges could be among that group of vital future pieces as well, but we will ultimately have to wait to see what the offseason holds as it pertains to a new contract for him. In the meantime, Bridges will remain with the Hornets for at least the remainder of the 2023-24 season.
After Wednesday night's game against the Toronto Raptors, Head Coach Steve Clifford spoke of how huge Bridges has been for this team.
Clifford on Bridges: 'They're just aren't many guys who can do what he's doing'
For a Hornets squad that has suffered from unbelievably bad injury luck this season, Miles Bridges has been like an oasis in a desert. "His effort every night he plays is remarkable," said Clifford. "This guy has always played minutes. He's playing 38, 39 minutes every night."
In a year where LaMelo Ball, Brandon Miller, Gordon Hayward, P.J. Washington, Terry Rozier, Nick Richards, Cody Martin and others have all missed games due to injury, Miles has suited up in every game but one since becoming eligible to play again on November 17.
The old adage says that availability is the best ability, and Bridges' ability to be healthy every night out has been huge for the Hornets. Another one of the main reasons for the frustrations in Charlotte this season has been varying levels of effort from certain player, which is something else Miles rarely ever falters in.
"He plays the whole the first (quarter), the whole third, he gets like three and a half minutes (rest) in the fourth and the second. That's it," said Clifford. "And yet, he never asks to come out, and he plays every dribble. There just aren't many guys who can do what he's doing."
To this point, there have not been a lot of reasons for celebration for Hornets fans this year. But Miles Bridges' constant presence and unwavering effort has given the city of Charlotte something they can count on seeing every night, evidenced most recently by his back-to-back 40-point games. At the end of the season, it may be one of the reasons the franchise decides to sign him to a new multi-year contract.