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Hornets 'Intention' is to Keep Miles Bridges 'Long-Term'

Miles Bridges is set to become a restricted free agent this offseason.

It's a big offseason for the Charlotte Hornets as they continue to look for a new head coach and also have one of it's top players, Miles Bridges, set to hit the free agent market. 

After his first three seasons with the team, it appeared that Bridges wouldn't become anything more than a solid role player. He wasn't very aggressive on the offensive end and wasn't considered much of a shooter. Typically after three years, you get a good sense of what type of player someone can be. Miles Bridges stunned everyone, even his head coach at the time, James Borrego, and the front office with the massive leap he took this past season. He went from averaging 12.7 points in 66 games (19 starts) to 20.2 points in 80 games (80 starts). 

Prior to the start of the season, Bridges and his agent, Rich Paul, turned down the Hornets' offer for a four-year, $60 million contract extension. It's safe to say that he will be making significantly more money than that, potentially north of $100 million. Now, the biggest question that comes into play is how much do the Hornets value him? Are they willing to do whatever it takes to keep him in the Queen City?

Here's what GM Mitch Kupchak had to say on the matter Thursday afternoon.

"Miles made a big jump. I don't think anyone expected that kind of jump," Kupchak said. "Miles is a restricted free agent which means that we can match any other deal that anybody brings to us and our intention is to keep Miles long-term. He's a big part of our future."

As Kupchak mentioned, the Hornets will have the ability to match any offer that any of the other 29 teams throw his way. I would expect the Hornets to low-ball the initial contract talks at first before being forced to make a serious investment due to another offer.

When asked if he would like to remain with the Hornets, Bridges was quick to respond.

"My mom, she loves it here. My kids love it here," Bridges said. "You know, Charlotte has really taken me in. I got drafted here as a 20-year-old kid and for me to grow up here and everybody to embrace me like they have, that's something that I'll never forget. Charlotte has took me in as a 20-year-old kid and now, I'm a 24-year-old man and I love it here."

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