Will Miles Bridges be the next Jerami Grant for the Pistons?

Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges (0) dunks over Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2) Credit: Brian Westerholt-USA TODAY Sports
Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges (0) dunks over Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2) Credit: Brian Westerholt-USA TODAY Sports /

When Miles Bridges didn’t sign a rookie extension in the offseason, he should have immediately popped up on the Detroit Pistons’ radar.

This is a decision the Hornets may end up regretting, as he will be a restricted free agent in the offseason after making a big leap in his 4th season.

Bridges is averaging 19.5 points and 7.2 rebounds this season, though his shooting numbers aren’t as good as last, when he averaged 40 percent from long range.

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He’ll be one of the most coveted free agents in a thin market, and as one of the only teams that will have cap space next offseason, the Detroit Pistons may be interested.

Not only has he made the leap as a player, but he is from Flint and went to Michigan State, so there might be additional 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 the floor, playing gritty defense and embodying a lot of the things Troy Weaver has talked about when he speaks of his vision for the Pistons.

The Pistons also have a recent history of rolling the dice on complementary players who they think can thrive in Detroit, as they did with Jerami Grant, who has been the subject of trade rumors all season.

The question is whether he is worth a max contract, as that is probably going to be what it takes to get him.

Is Miles Bridges worth a max contract for the Detroit Pistons?

With Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier eating up a big chunk of their cap next season, and an extension for star LaMelo Ball on the horizon, the Hornets might not want to lock Bridges up to a long-term deal unless he is willing to take a discount.

It would lock them into that core for the foreseeable future, even though they could certainly move one of those two veterans to clear some additional space.

This could leave Bridges open to being stolen away by a team like the Detroit Pistons, who will have the cap 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 gotten better every year he’s been in the league and likely has his best years in front of him.

He would give the Pistons another young forward to go along with Saddiq Bey, and we’ve seen what LaMelo Ball has been able to do while surrounded by high-flyers and shooters, so Bridges could have a similar impact for the Pistons and Cade Cunningham.

If the Pistons were to trade Jerami Grant without taking back any long-term money, this move makes even more sense, as it would potentially allow them to sign two impact free agents next offseason and surround Cade with more talent.

However, signing Bridges comes with some amount of risk, as I’d say he is a borderline max player right now, so the Pistons would be gambling that he could reach another level. There’s also the fact that they already have similar players in Bey and Hamidou Diallo, so Bridges doesn’t fill an immediate need.

When you have one of the worst records in the league for a second straight year, talent acquisition is the most important thing, not positional need, and Bridges is certainly 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 went after him.

He could be the next Jerami Grant for the Pistons, a complementary player that Detroit banks will make a leap. The difference is that he is likely to cost a lot more than Grant, so it’s a riskier bet.

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