Despite rumors about a max contract potentially not being on the table for Miles Bridges, Charlotte Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak left no doubt about where things stand with the 24-year-old.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Kupchak said the organization loves Bridges and is "going to bring him back."
Bridges can become a restricted free agent when the moratorium period begins June 30. ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported on Monday's episode of NBA Today that Bridges wasn't being offered a max contract from the Hornets "right now."
Things took a turn over the weekend when the forward removed the Hornets from his Twitter bio and gave a salute to LaMelo Ball on Instagram.
The Hornets attempted to give Bridges a four-year, $60 million extension last offseason, but he turned it down.
It appears as if that was a brilliant decision by Bridges. He had the best season of his career in 2021-22, averaging 20.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game in 80 starts.
B/R's Jake Fischer reported last week that the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers are the only teams that have been considered "potential threats" to sign Bridges away from Charlotte.
The Pacers are an interesting potential landing spot because Myles Turner and Malcolm Brogdon have been rumored to be on the trade block. They have Tyrese Haliburton and 2022 first-round pick Bennedict Mathurin as potential building blocks.
Detroit has a potentially dynamic backcourt duo in Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey to build around. Signing Bridges would give the team an impact player in the frontcourt to make a playoff push in the near future.
The Hornets have every reason to want Bridges back. He's only 24 and has been on an upward trajectory throughout his four-year career. Ball is already one of the best point guards in the NBA, and they finished over .500 last season (43-39) for the first time since 2015-16.
If the Hornets want to continue on their path toward becoming a playoff team in the Eastern Conference, re-signing Bridges would seem like an easy decision.