Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges' future on the court remains uncertain after both sides allowed his $7.9 million qualifying offer to expire, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.
He will remain a restricted free agent as a result.
"They had a deadline on Saturday to see whether they would allow that qualifying to expire or look to extend it as late as March 1," Charania said during an appearance on The Rally. "So all this really does is take the qualifying offer of $7.9 million, which was always unlikely to get signed, off the table."
Bridges was arrested in June in Los Angeles on the eve of NBA free agency after he was accused of assaulting his girlfriend in front of their two children. The woman posted images of her injuries and a description of the attack on social media. He pleaded not guilty to three charges of felony domestic violence at his arraignment in July.
The case involving Bridges has been delayed four times, and he is now scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on Oct. 7. Per Michael Gordon and Roderick Boone of the Charlotte Observer, the hearing is to determine whether prosecutors have enough evidence to take Bridges to trial. If he is convicted of all three charges, he faces up to 12 years in prison.
Bridges is coming off his best season in the NBA, leading Charlotte with 20.2 points per game while also averaging 7.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists, all of which were career highs. He had turned down a contract extension offer from the Hornets prior to last season in hopes of landing a bigger deal this summer.
While Bridges is a promising young player, he is likely to face a significant suspension under the league's policy on domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse even if he is not convicted, so it wouldn't be a surprise if he remains a restricted free agent for quite some time.
If another team decides to extend an offer to Bridges, the Hornets will have to decide whether or not to match it. After letting his qualifying offer expire, Charlotte may be prepared to let him walk.