Hornets Deny Negotiating Miles Bridges Contract After Domestic Violence Conviction

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 5, 2023

MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 05: Miles Bridges #0 of the Charlotte Hornets dribbles against the Miami Heat during the first half at FTX Arena on April 05, 2022 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Charlotte Hornets denied having contract talks with Miles Bridges in a statement given to Paige Masten of the Charlotte Observer this week.

Two weeks ago, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Hornets and Bridges were in discussions for a new deal and that the two sides were "gathering traction" and had "optimism" that something could get done.

The negotiations reportedly began after Bridges pleaded no-contest to a felony domestic violence charge in November, per ESPN's Baxter Holmes.

Bridges' former girlfriend alleged in May that he assaulted her in front of their two children, leading to felony charges of domestic violence and two counts of child abuse under circumstances or conditions likely to cause great bodily injury or death.

By pleading no-contest to the domestic violence charge, Bridges accepted a conviction without admitting guilt. It also resulted in the other two charges being dismissed, and he was able to avoid jail time, instead getting sentenced to three years probation.

Bridges remains a restricted free agent after the Hornets opted against no team offered him a contract in the wake of the allegations against him.

Prior to the allegations, the expectation was that the Hornets would sign the 24-year-old forward to a long-term deal.

Bridges has spent his entire four-year NBA career in Charlotte since he was selected with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft out of Michigan State.

In 291 career regular-season games, Bridges owns averages of 13.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.5 three-pointers made and has shot 47.3 percent from the field and 34.6 percent from beyond the arc.

After taking a big leap forward in his second and third NBA seasons, Bridges reached a new level of production last season.

He averaged career highs with 20.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.9 three-pointers made, while also starting a career-high 80 games. Bridges shot 49.1 percent from the floor and 33.1 percent from deep as well.

Bridges, LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier and Gordon Hayward helped lead the Hornets to the play-in portion of the postseason, but they fell to the Atlanta Hawks in a win-or-go-home game.

With Bridges no longer in the fold and Ball missing significant time due to injury this season, the Hornets have struggled mightily.

At 10-29, they are in last place in the Eastern Conference, and they have the worst record in the NBA overall.