When Miles Bridges didn’t sign a rookie extension during the offseason, he should have immediately appeared on the Detroit Pistons’ radar.
It’s a move the Hornets might come to regret as he will be a restricted free agent in the offseason after making a big jump in his 4th season.
Bridges is averaging 19.5 points and 7.2 rebounds this season, although his shooting numbers aren’t as good as last time around, when he’s averaged 40% at long range.
He’ll be one of the most coveted free agents in a tight market, and as one of the few teams with cap space in the next offseason, the Detroit Pistons might be interested.
Not only did he take the plunge as a player, he’s a native of Flint and traveled to the state of Michigan. So there might be an added appeal for a local guy who wants to come back to his home state.
Bridges helped his case last night, scoring 19 points on just eight shots, running on the ground, playing solid defense and embodying a lot of things Troy Weaver talked about when he talks about his vision for the Pistons.
The Pistons also have a recent history of rolling the dice at complementary players who they believe can thrive in Detroit, as they did with Jerami grant, which has been the subject of commercial rumors all season.
The question is whether it is worth a maximum contract, as that will likely be what it takes to get it.
Is Miles Bridges worth a max deal for the Detroit Pistons?
With Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier eating much of their caps next season and an overtime for star LaMelo Ball on the horizon, the Hornets might not want to lock Bridges on a long-term deal unless he is. ready to take a reduction.
It would lock them into that core for the foreseeable future, although they could certainly move one of those two veterans to free up some extra space.
That could leave Bridges open to being stolen by a team like the Detroit Pistons, who will have the ceiling space to make him a deal the Hornets might not want to match.
The Pistons need more athleticism on the wing and Bridges would give them that, as well as a guy who has improved every year he’s been in the league and probably has his best years ahead of him.
He would give the Pistons another young forward to go with Saddiq Bey, and we saw what LaMelo Ball was able to do while surrounded by top flight and shooters, so Bridges could have a similar impact for the Pistons and Cade cunningham.
If the Pistons traded Jerami Grant without getting any cash back in the long run, the move makes even more sense, as it would potentially allow them to sign two impact free agents in the next offseason and surround Cade with more talent.
However, signing Bridges comes with some risk, as I would say he’s a borderline max player right now, so the Pistons would bet he could get to another level. There’s also the fact that they already have players similar to Bey and Hamidou Diallo, so Bridges doesn’t meet an immediate need.
When you’ve got one of the league’s worst records for a second year in a row, talent acquisition is the most important thing, not the need for position, and Bridges certainly is talented.
He would instantly be a fan favorite, add some athleticism and defense to the Pistons and is still young, so I wouldn’t be disappointed if Detroit took it out on him.
He could be the next Jerami Grant for the Pistons, a complementary player that the Detroit Banks are going to jump into. The difference is, it’s likely to cost a lot more than Grant, so it’s a riskier bet.