The Charlotte Hornets had a rather tough 2022-2023 NBA season, finishing with a record of 27-55. Part of this was due to the fact that star guard LaMelo Ball only played 36 games this season, as he suffered from a recurring ankle sprain throughout the season. When not injured, Ball provided the team with an average of 23.3 ppg, 8.4 apg, 6.4 rpg, and 1.3 spg all while shooting 41.1% from the field and 37.6% from three-point range. His void was surely felt by the team, already managing to fill the void of Miles Bridges, who was not signed by any NBA team last offseason due to his domestic violence case against his wife. Bridges pleaded no-contest in the case and in exchange for this no-contest plea, felony charges against him were dropped (via The Athletic https://theathletic.com/4420537/2023/04/21/aldridge-why-the-nba-got-the-miles-bridges-suspension-for-domestic-violence-wrong/).
Despite the controversy surrounding Bridges, the Hornets recently re-signed him, bringing him back to the NBA on a 1-year $7.9 million contract. Before finding himself out of the NBA and facing a league-mandated suspension upon his return to the Hornets, Bridges was on the cusp of becoming a star-quality player. During the 2021-2022 NBA regular season, Bridges averaged 20.2 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 3.8 apg, 0.9 spg, and 0.8 bpg while shooting 49.1% from the field and 33.1% from beyond the arc. Bringing Bridges back to the team could be the key to winning more games next season, as it is important to note that he and LaMelo helped lead the Hornets to the 21-22 Play-In Tournament. While winning basketball games is great, it is extremely important that Bridges receives the proper help needed to better himself and work on whatever issues he is facing behind the scenes. His wife and children are human beings who deserve to be treated properly, and one can only hope that Bridges has not only learned his lesson but is working every day to try and make the situation right as best as he can. Domestic violence is a serious offense and the league made the right decision in punishing him for his actions. Like every human being, we all make mistakes, and hopefully, Miles Bridges can grow from his.
In addition to bringing back Bridges, the Hornets have also signed rookies Brandon Miller and Nick Smith Jr. to multi-year contracts. While there is still time in the offseason and free-agency period, the Hornets should look to act soon if they wish to flesh out the roster with more depth to support LaMelo Ball in leading the team to a playoff appearance.
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