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Mitch Kupchak on Miles Bridges: “We’re going to bring him back.”

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Updated 2 months ago on
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Mitch Kupchak on Miles Bridges: "We're going to bring him back."
USA Today Network

Mitch Kupchak, the Hornets general manager, commented on forward Miles Bridges when asked about his situation. He said, “As an organization, we love Miles, ok? And we’re going to bring him back. He’s been great for the franchise, and I believe, with his work ethic, he’s only going to get better.” A few weeks ago, NBA analysts were reporting that Kupchak was stalling to offer Bridges a maximum contract.

Now, Kupchak might not have a choice. The forward is a restricted free agent. He will test free agency for the highest possible offer. And this all comes down to whether or not the Hornets can afford to keep him. He earned $5,421,493 last season. Bridges will be asking for a deal in the ballpark figure of four years, $130 million. While such a contract sounds ridiculous for this fifth-year player, he did have a career season.

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In the 2021-22 season, Bridges averaged 20.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game in 80 games played. He ranked 12th in the league in made field goals (596). Plus, he finished 15th in total points (1,613). Not to mention, the 24-year-old played 35.5 minutes per game, ranking seventh overall.

Is Miles Bridges worth his asking price?

Furthermore, on Nov. 20, 2021, in the Hornets’ 115-105 loss to the Hawks, Bridges scored a career-high 35 points. Also, in the Hornets’ 132-103 loss to the Hawks in the play-in tournament, the forward finished his performance with 12 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists. He was 0-for-4 from 3-point range. Bridges deserves to get paid, but is the forward worth his demands? It’s just something to think about.

Additionally, it is unknown as to where Kupchak will move Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier. Before Kyrie Irving opted in with the Nets, one rumor circulated that Charlotte would trade Hayward and Rozier for Irving. Of course, that trade never manifested. In a total of 49 games played last season, Hayward averaged 15.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.

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G.M. Mitch Kupchak could trade Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier

Likewise, Rozier averaged 19.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game in 73 games played. While Hayward is projected to earn $$30.1 million for the 2022-23 season, Rozier is set to make $21.5 million. As of right now, both players could end up on the Lakers to make room for Miles Bridges and potentially Russell Westbrook. That NBA trade rumor is still floating around on social media.

Either way, it’s unlikely the Hornets’ roster will remain the same heading into next season. LaMelo Ball could use more support. He won Rookie of the Year in 2021, and Ball is aiming to further develop his game. Perhaps he could use a veteran like Westbrook. This deal could be in the works behind closed doors. Other Hornets NBA news articles are on the main page.

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James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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