Hornets forward Miles Bridges is the only restricted free agent left, and that may come to an end soon.
Per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Hornets and Bridges are “gathering traction” on contract talks.
This, of course, doesn’t come without its fair share of controversy. While Bridges had a fantastic season last year, and was set for a big payday, things took a major turn after he had been accused of domestic violence.
The case reached an end in November, when Bridges pleaded no contest and received a sentence of three years probation. Now, he presumably will be suspended by the NBA if and when he plays again, though for how long is unclear, per Wojnarowski.
If Bridges and the Hornets fail to reach a deal, he will remain a restricted free agent in July, when anyone could sign him and the Hornets would have to match.
Bridges would lose 1/110th of his salary for each game he misses should a suspension last at least 20 games, according to Bobby Marks of ESPN.
A hard-nosed defender, Bridges averaged 20.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 80 games with Charlotte last season. He has spent each of his first four NBA seasons in Charlotte, displaying durability by appearing in at least 65 games every year.
“At the moment, Bridges remains unsigned, but, if he were to sign with a team, the NBA, under the collective bargaining agreement, has the right to suspend, fine, dismiss or disqualify him from any further association from the league because he pleaded no contest,” wrote ESPN’s Baxter Holmes.
As part of the probation, Bridges has to undergo a year’s worth of domestic violence counseling, as well as take 52 weeks of parenting classes.
He is represented by agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports.
The Hornets sit near the very bottom of the Eastern Conference standings entering Christmas weekend, with All-Star point guard LaMelo Ball being injured for much of the season and Bridges missing for all of it.