According to TMZ, Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges was arrested in Los Angeles on Wednesday, June 29, and charged with felony domestic violence. Bridges turned himself in and was released on $130,000 bail.
Police say a woman alleges she was in an argument with Bridges that turned physical. When police arrived at the scene Bridges, was not present but the woman needed medical attention. It is unknown if the alleged victim will take this matter further.
Bridges is just another name in an extremely disturbing trend of athletes associated with domestic violence. Cleveland Cavaliers guard Rajon Rondo was accused of domestic violence and pulling a gun on the mother of his children earlier this year. New Orleans Pelicans’ big man Jaxson Hayes was involved in a domestic violence incident with his girlfriend last July. Both men avoided jail time, but Hayes is on probation and Rondo settled with his child’s mother out of court.
Earlier this month, Bridges had social media in an uproar after posting what internet detectives deduced was the codeine-infused drink lean and a joint on his Instagram stories. Bridges said it was just pink lemonade but once the internet creates a story, it is what it is.
Miles Bridges posting a pic with a joint and a double cup right before hitting restricted free agency after coming off a career year is unserious behavior. And also hilarious. Can’t imagine how David Stern would react to this.
— Roosh (@RooshWilliams) June 7, 2022
Bridges is currently a restricted free agent and rejected the Hornets’ four-year, $60 million deal just prior to the start of the 2021-22 season. Last season was Bridges’ best as a pro. He averaged 20 points and seven rebounds per game on 55 eFG% and 59 TS%. Bridges was a career-best +2.2 in EPM, which placed him in the 88th percentile in the NBA — on par with Khris Middleton and Pascal Siakam.
The Hornets recently brought Steve Clifford back to be their head coach and general manager Mitch Kupchak wants to ensure the new coach is working with the best possible roster.
“As an organization, we love Miles and we are going to bring him back,” Kupchak said on Tuesday, June 28. “He’s been great for the franchise and I believe with his work ethic he’s only going to get better.”
Kupchak made these comments at Clifford’s introductory press conference on Tuesday before Bridges’ arrest.
NBA free agency officially begins on Thursday and the Hornets match any contract offer Bridges receives on the open market.
At 24 years old, a 6’6″ wing player with Bridges’ level of production would command a big salary on the open market. If the New York Knicks are going to give 6’1″ point guard Jalen Brunson a four-year, $100 million deal, Bridges would be looking at a similar deal.
The problem is that not many teams have cap space this offseason. The projected salary cap for the 2022-23 season will be $123.6 million. The luxury tax line will be $150.2 million, and the hard cap — which teams cannot exceed if they acquire a player in a sign-and-trade deal or if they use the full mid-level exception — will come in at about $156.9 million.
The Knicks have their sights set on Brunson, so they can’t sign Bridges. The San Antonio Spurs have $32.6 million in cap space, but after trading All-Star Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks signing Bridges isn’t likely.
The Orlando Magic and Indiana Pacers have enough cap space, but the former just drafted Paolo Banchero number one in last week’s draft. The Pacers could work, though they just drafted Bennedict Mathurin.
The only other team with cap space would be the Detroit Pistons and their front court is already crowded.
Of course there could be a team that pulls off something unexpected to clear space to acquire Bridges, but the likelihood is he returns to the Hornets.