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Kupchak on Miles Bridges contract extension: 'Wait and see'

Miles Bridges is on track to be a restricted free agent after he and the Charlotte Hornets failed to reach an agreement on a long-term contract.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte Hornets and Miles Bridges failed to reach an agreement on a contract extension and now the former first-round pick's future in Charlotte is up in the air heading into the 2021-22 season. 

Bridges, who was selected No. 12 overall in the 2018 draft, is on track to become a restricted free agent after the season. The fourth-year forward was one of several lottery players who didn't sign a long-term deal with his current team, including No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton. 

Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak said Wednesday that the team and Bridges' representatives are taking a "wait and see" approach after negotiations stalled. Bridges averaged 12.7 points in 66 games last season.

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"We love Miles Bridges," Kupchak said. "We did have conversations with his representative up until the last minute. The decision was made to wait and see how the season plays out and we'll approach it again in the spring." 

The Hornets open the season Wednesday at home against the Indiana Pacers. Kupchak said he believes this year's team is more talented than last year's roster, which was eliminated from the NBA's Play-In Tournament after a rash of injuries derailed the season in the spring. Those injuries included a broken wrist for Rookie of the Year LaMelo Ball

"I would expect us to have a better season than we did last year," Kupchak said. "I know the bar publicly is a playoff spot. I think that's realistic."

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