NBA

Talks between Hornets, Miles Bridges gathering traction

Talks between Hornets, Miles Bridges gathering traction
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The Charlotte Hornets and restricted free agent forward Miles Bridges are gathering traction in talks on a new deal, and optimism exists that an agreement could come in the near future, sources told ESPN on Friday.

The sooner Bridges and the Hornets can reach a deal, the sooner he can seemingly start serving an NBA suspension expected to be handed down for his role in an offseason domestic violence case. Bridges pleaded no contest to a felony charge in November and received a sentence of three years of probation and no jail time.

Bridges’ case remains under investigation by the league, and it’s unclear how long a suspension he is facing, sources said.

Bridges and his representatives with Klutch Sports have been in consistent contact with the Hornets organization, and the sides are working together on Bridges’ plans to work with local domestic violence groups and community organizations to start reacclimating himself to the Charlotte community.

If a deal can’t be reached with Bridges, he would remain a restricted free agent this summer in a marketplace that includes teams with ample salary-cap space and needs to upgrade the wing position of their rosters.

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The NBA suspended former Charlotte player Jeffery Taylor for 24 games in 2014 after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence assault.

Bridges, 24, has been considered a cornerstone player for Charlotte’s franchise. He averaged 20.2 points, 7 rebounds and 3.8 assists during the 2021-22 season.

As a restricted free agent over the summer, Bridges was believed to be on the cusp of signing a $100 million-plus offer sheet that Charlotte would’ve likely matched to retain him. The arrest and charges changed that calculus, and now Bridges is working through the details of a new deal directly with Charlotte.

The Hornets, 8-24 this season, have struggled without Bridges, with other key players missing substantial time with injuries.

Bridges accepted the punishment and the conviction without formally admitting guilt in the case. He had been accused of assaulting his then-girlfriend in front of their two children in June. In July, the office of Los Angeles County district attorney George Gascon filed three felony domestic violence charges against Bridges — who initially pleaded not guilty to all three.

During his three-year probation, Bridges will be required to complete 52 weeks of domestic violence counseling and 52 weeks of parenting classes and serve 100 hours of community service.

ESPN’s Baxter Holmes contributed to this report.

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