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Lakers, Pistons among teams monitoring Miles Bridges situation following no contest plea, per report

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In the summer, Miles Bridges was supposed to sign a maximum contract as a restricted free agent. After a season in which he scored 20 points per game at the critical small forward position, Bridges was a candidate for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award and was considered one of the league’s best young players. However, shortly before free agency began, Bridges’ wife, Michelle Johnson, posted photos on Instagram showing her with severe bruising on her face and body. No NBA team signed him during the offseason, and in the end, Bridges declined to contest the allegations. He will serve three years of probation, but he does not face jail time.

This caught the attention of several NBA teams interested in Bridges’ eventual return to the league. The Los Angeles Lakers and Detroit Pistons are among the teams monitoring the situation, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. However, Bridges still faces a number of hurdles before he can return to the court.

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First of all, the NBA is still conducting its own investigation into the situation and may impose its own punishment. Additionally, Bridges’ contract status with the Charlotte Hornets should be considered. Although Bridges is a free agent, the Hornets made him a qualifying offer earlier in the offseason, allowing them to retain the right to match any offer he signs as a restricted free agent.

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That qualifying offer expired in October, but the fact that the Hornets haven’t canceled it means he’s still a restricted free agent. In other words, whatever the Lakers, Pistons, or any other team has to offer, the Hornets can match it and keep Bridges. The Pistons only have a mid-level exemption with a $5.4 million ceiling. The Lakers can’t even rise above the low.

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In purely basketball terms, the Lakers and Pistons make sense to Bridges. Detroit was considered the right place for him when he wanted to sign a maximum contract. His athleticism matched well with other young Pistons. The Lakers are completely lacking in depth on the wing, so adding a top young player to this position for pennies on the dollar will surely help them on the court.

But given what Bridges is accused of, the fans of any team that signed him to a contract are sure to protest the move. Nothing seems inevitable on Bridges’ front at the moment, but when a talented player like him shows up, teams tend to overlook off-court issues.



Source: www.cbssports.com

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