Miles Bridges is an early favorite for Most Improved Player. The Hornets forward averaging 26 points per game while shooting 62% on 2-pointers, 39% on 3-pointers and 91% on free throws. A high flyer who has shown good chemistry in transition with LaMelo Ball and significantly improved his shooting touch last season, Bridges has taken the next step with a more-dynamic off-the-dribble game this season.
The best news for Bridges: He’ll be a (restricted) free agent this summer.
When he was in negotiations for his extension within a couple weeks ago, I am told that the Hornets’ baseline was offer was four years, 60 million.
That was Charlotte’s baseline offer. They may have come up. But they were never really close after. They were so far apart.
We don’t know Charlotte’s last best offer prior to the pre-season extension deadline. But a baseline offer of a $15 million annual salary provides perspective.
Bridges is line to earn far more in free agency. Even if he doesn’t keep up this hot start, the 23-year-old has shown plenty of reason to believe in him.
The Hornets weren’t necessarily out of line for not offering Bridges a bigger extension. They’ll still hold ability to match any offer he gets in free agency. It’s not as if they’ll just lose him.
But it’s already looking like they’ll have to pay more to keep him now.