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Report: Hornets "Expected" to Withdraw Bridges Qualifying Offer

Reports surfaced early Saturday morning by @Carchia of @Sportando

In the early hours of Saturday morning Emiliano Carchia, a well known European basketball news breaker and CEO of Sportando reported that "Sources expect Charlotte to pull the qualifying offer".

On paper this makes sense and has been the clearest option available to the Hornets for the last 24 hours. Charlotte might still wait until July 20th for legal reasons to withdraw the QO. Due to the sensitivity of this topic, All Hornets has been in contact with Emiliano Carachia who broke the news to clarify and validate this report Sportando is a non traditional news breaker within the USA. We were able to confirm the source is NOT part of the Hornets organization, but following a discussion we were given reason to believe this report to be credible and should be reported, but like any report cannot be treated as 100% fact.

What does this mean for the Hornets?

If Charlotte withdraw Bridges QO and renounce him as a free agent this would remove his $16.2 cap hold. Depending on the renouncing of free agents Nick Richards, Montrezl Harrell and Isaiah Thomas Charlotte could generate between $7-10 in cap space. The team would also use be able to use the "Room Exception ($5.2). 

(Clarification provided by @Richierandall): If Charlotte chooses to stay over the cap they could instead use the part or all the non tax payer MLE ($10.5) and the BAE ($4.2). This could be used to bring back Cody Martin or they could change their mind and sign McGowan's to traditional roster instead of a two way. Alternatively, they could save the space from these exceptions to use during or next off-season. The issue is the free agent pool of players above $4 million is already severely depleted. I'm not convinced there are any names in free agency who Charlotte could realistically add through cap space or exceptions that are worth adding for a multi year contract. 

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The best course now if the team is still committed to "Taking a jump" is to pursue a trade. What could be more likely, if not unpopular, is the team not making any major moves and go into the season with a forward rotation of PJ/Hayward/Oubre/Thor/Kai. Keep an eye out for the team using the BAE or vet minimum on a backup point guard, Kemba Walker or Isaiah Thomas both look like options.