Miles Bridges comments on upcoming free agency, thoughts on staying in Charlotte

Prior to the start of the 2021-22 season, the Charlotte Hornets and Miles Bridges engaged in contract talks for a multi-year extension reportedly through opening night. Ultimately, the Hornets’ final offer of $60 million over four years was declined by Bridges and his agent, Rich Paul, betting on a breakout season that could significantly increase the asking price.

Not only has Bridges increased his production across the board, but many believe he should be considered for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award after averaging 20.2 points, 7 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 80 matches.

A few days ago, during team exit interviews, Bridges professed his love for the city of Charlotte and what it would mean for him to stay with the Hornets for the long term.

“My mom, she loves it here. My kids love it here,” Bridges said. “You know, Charlotte really welcomed me. I was recruited here at 20 and for me to grow up here and have everyone hug me like they did, that’s something I don’t I’ll never forget. Charlotte took me in when I was 20 and now I’m a 24-year-old man and I love it here.”

Although the Hornets will likely give Bridges what he and his agent are asking for, there’s always a chance things won’t work out. It’s the first time since joining the NBA that Bridges doesn’t know where he will play next season. If it were up to him, he would still be a Hornet.

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“I don’t really worry about it, I let my agent worry about it. I would love to play here. I would love to play with Melo [Ball] and terry [Rozier] for the rest of my career. They are my guys, my brothers. Just to have that type of relationship with such dynamic players, you don’t see it too much in the NBA.”

Losing in the playoff two years in a row has pushed Bridges and other team members to work even harder this offseason. Come next season, not securing a spot in the play-in tournament is not acceptable.

“For me, I’m still going to get past burnout this summer to be able to come in as a different player. There’s details in everything. I learned that from Kobe, KD and those types of guys who watch videos on them and how much attention to detail they put into their work. For me, I’m just going to go out there and get a lot of reps and pay attention to what I’m doing on the court and try to improve my game.”

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Christy J. Olson