Hornets About to Make Big Free Agency Mistake

The Charlotte Hornets GM Jeff Peterson is committed to making a big mistake in free agency.
Scott Kinser-USA TODAY Sports

The Charlotte Hornets finally entered a new era after trading away veterans like Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward, and PJ Washington last season, hiring Charles Lee as the head coach and Jeff Peterson as the new general manager. It looked like they were embracing the rebuild.

However, the latest reporting by Rod Boone of The Charlotte Observer contradicts this. The Hornets are reportedly trying hard to keep Miles Bridges long-term.

"I've made it very clear to Miles that we want him to remain as a Hornet."

Hornets GM Jeff Peterson

Bridges is an unrestricted free agent this summer. He had missed the entirety of the 2022-23 season with a suspension due to serious domestic violence charges. The Hornets refused to give him a contract extension for this reason last year and had him play on a one-year qualifying offer. Now, however, Charlotte is willing to give him a lucrative, multi-year deal for some reason.

Bridges is 26 years old and he is a solid starting forward. But, even if we were to put legal troubles and off-court issues aside, it doesn't make sense for the Hornets to bring him back.

He represents the old guard in Charlotte. He has been with the Hornets since 2018 and the team has been one of the least serious teams in the league since then. They had one winning season and didn't make the playoffs once during his time.

Plus, the Hornets need to start playing their young players and see what they have in them. They just drafted Tidjane Salaün with the sixth-overall pick in the NBA Draft. He plays the exact same position as Bridges. Seeing what he is capable of while having another developmental season that would secure the Hornets another top pick in the 2025 NBA Draft is clearly the right move. Why jeopardize that so that Bridges can win you a couple of more games in the regular season?

It's not like Bridges will have a ton of trade value around the NBA, either. There are almost certainly teams who would never ever trade for him due to his reputation. This shrinks his trade market. So, even if Bridges were to play very well on his new deal, the Hornets might find it difficult to get commensurate value in a potential trade.

The Hornets need to embrace the new era, start fresh, and become a respected organization. Giving Miles Bridges a guaranteed nine-figure salary is not the way to do that.

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