Is Miles Bridges worth the $173 million he's rumored to command?
Before jumping into the specifics of the San Antonio Spurs signing Bridges to such a deal, let's take a step back and see how this kind of money would compare with some other guys in the league.
If Bridges does, in fact, get a max contract for $173 million, his average salary per year would make him the 26th-highest paid player in the NBA when comparing to this year's books. Some others making around the same per year are Trae Young ($35.3 million), Bradley Beal ($35 million), and Michael Porter Jr. ($34.5 million).
Right now, the highest-paid Spur under contract earns an average annual salary of $16 million. That contract, of course, belongs to Dejounte Murray, who signed a four-year, $64 million contract through 2024. After that, Doug McDermott is set to make $13.75 million per season through 2024 as well.
All of this speaks to the fact that the Spurs don't yet have a superstar making superstar money yet, but should Bridges be that guy?
I'm inclined to lean toward no here. Might Bridges be worth upwards of $35 million? Probably somewhere, just not in San Antonio. As Fischer reports, Charlotte is expected to match any offer sheet sent to Bridges, which could hinder teams from doing so, since it keeps them in limbo for 48 hours. With so many moves on the table, the Spurs might not want to sacrifice that two-day window only to have the Hornets match.
For that amount, the Spurs must be getting a gamechanger
Paying such a salary to Bridges wouldn't only tie down the books in San Antonio, but it also wouldn't be worth it when considering their needs. For that kind of money, the Spurs would want a bonafide All-Star with the potential to be a superstar. At the very least, they'd want that someone to be a perfect complementary piece to their existing star in Murray.
I don't doubt that Bridges would be a great pairing with Dejounte as he is will Ball, but at 6-6, he's a bit undersized for the Spurs' overall needs heading into next season. San Antonio needs a tall, athletic four in the lineup to counter some of the bigger lineups in the league that punished them all season long. Unfortunately, Miles comes up a few inches short of that.
One intriguing aspect of Bridges' game is his ability to space the floor, but his outside shot dropped seven percentage points from 40 to 33 this past season. There's just too much to gamble on here with so much money that can be used for multiple pieces.
The Spurs might want to kick the tires on Bridges if his price isn't as high as rumored. If not, though, there are plenty of other options available.