If you asked me a year ago, should the Detroit Pistons sign Miles Bridges, the former Charlotte Hornets’ forward, and former Michigan State Spartan, it would have been a slam dunk “yes”. Bridges improved every year on the court and broke out during the 2021-22 campaign averaging 20 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists – career highs across the board. Bridges was in line for a massive payday. Which begged the question, “should the Detroit Pistons sign Miles Bridges?”
On the eve of NBA free agency, this past offseason Bridges was arrested for felony domestic violence. On November 3rd, Bridges plead no contest and was sentenced to three years of probation. With no jail time in sight, Bridges is eyeing an NBA comeback. I don’t know what team will take a shot on adding the 24-year-old born and raised in Flint, Michigan but it should not be the Pistons.
Should the Detroit Pistons sign Miles Bridges and take a chance?
This is not coming from some holier-than-thou place. I believe in second chances, I’ve advocated for the Detroit Lions to take chances on guys like Kareem Hunt, Joe Mixon, and Deshaun Watson who have been accused of similarly heinous things. This is coming from a school of thought that the Pistons don’t need that kind of distraction in the locker room and that kind of example being set.
If Bridges is signed to the type of contract he is looking for, he would be the highest-paid player on the Pistons and arguably their best player. This could make it difficult to hold Bridges accountable. Even worse, it would Bridges in a leadership position. Before Bridges' arrest, he posted a video on social media of him using drugs and holding a cup with liquid that resembled “lean”, a mixture of codeine and Sprite. While not harmful to anyone else like the nature of his arrest, it is extremely poor decision-making and a stunning lack of awareness. Two things that would not behoove a team that is the youngest in the NBA.
The bottom line on the Detroit Pistons when it comes to Miles Bridges
The Pistons have a solid young core right now and while Bridges could add to Detroit’s young talent, he would be a major distraction and could disrupt the growth of the core the Pistons already have in place. It would be a dangerous precedent to set for a young, impressionable team. You can’t mess up as badly as Bridges did and then get rewarded with a mega contract and the keys to the team.
Bridges could work on teams with established veterans with a hierarchy already established. This Pistons team does not have that. Detroit is filled with a bunch of young guys and a coach who might be fired by the end of the year. For those reasons, the Pistons need to stay far far away from Miles Bridges.