Over the course of his NBA career, and certainly in the last two months in particular, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green has known a thing or two about controversy. But this week, a video surfaced of Green working out with a player one league executive called, “a pariah at the moment,” Hornets forward Miles Bridges.
The video is from the Instagram account of trainer Travis Walton and just shows a brief sideline clip. That, in itself, is not controversial. But what is controversial is the fact that Bridges has been involved in a very public domestic violence case involving his girlfriend.
At his arraignment in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Bridges pleaded not guilty to three felony domestic violence charges, in which he was accused of assaulting his girlfriend, Mychelle Johnson, in front of their two children. He was arrested on June 29 and had his case continued to August 19.
Green has a long-standing relationship with Bridges, who followed Green to Michigan State before being drafted into the NBA. Back when Green had his jersey retired for the Spartans in 2019, Bridges sent a message saying, “If anybody deserves getting their jersey retired, it’s you. Everything you’ve done for me, everything you’ve done for the university, it shows the type of person you are.”
‘No One Is Going to Touch That Situation’
There is, of course, still much to be sorted out with Bridges, his family, his legal situation and how it pertains to his NBA career. He had a breakout season last year, averaging 20.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists, and was in line for a major contract as a restricted free agent this summer. But the severity of the charges he is facing has been amplified by compelling social media posts from Johnson.
“No one is going to touch that situation right now,” one league executive told Heavy Sports. “He is a pariah at the moment. There is a lot to sort out legally but your big concern has to be with the young woman and the kids.”
It is possible that Bridges could be on the Hornets next season, because he has a qualifying offer worth $7.9 million for next season, which was part of the process of making him a free agent. According to NBA reporter Marc Stein, the Hornets did not pull that qualifying offer.
“It’s hard to see anybody going out to get him. Now we definitely need to wait until everything comes to light,” Heavy Sports NBA insider Steve Bulpett said in a video interview. “It’s something that the league is just kind of waiting to play out more, letting the legal people do their job so that whatever move they make as a league is supported by the evidence.”
The NBA Could Suspend Bridges
The NBA, ultimately, could suspend Bridges for any length of time it sees fit, though it is unlikely that Bridges would be suspended for more than a year. The longest domestic violence suspension came in 2014 when Jeffery Taylor was suspended for 24 games.
According to the CBA, commissioner Adam Silver will appoint a three-person panel to independently investigate the case, with Bridges required to cooperate. The league can put Bridges on a leave of absence while the investigation is ongoing, which could keep him off the floor for the Hornets, but that time is counted toward any subsequent suspension.