Would the Cavaliers sign Miles Bridges in NBA free agency? – Right Down Euclid mailbag

When it comes to Bridges, people shouldn’t normalize or forget what he did or why he was away from basketball for so long.
bridges
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – FEBRUARY 04: Miles Bridges #0 of the Charlotte Hornets drives between Jarrett Allen #31 and Evan Mobley #4 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second half of their game at Spectrum Center on February 04, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Cavaliers won 102-101. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Note: This story contains accounts of domestic violence. If you or someone you know is a survivor of domestic violence, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-787-SAFE (7233) or at https://thehotline.org.

Got something on your mind? Email me. Did your question not make the cut? Use the submission form next time. Finally, support Right Down Euclid while you’re at it. As a nonprofit, independent news organization, we can only survive by providing our award-winning independent journalism and Cleveland sports coverage through financial support from readers like you. On this edition of the semi-regular Right Down Euclid mailbag, we’re talking about Miles Bridges to the Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA free agency, the OceanGate fiasco and so much more.

Your letters:

I’m sure you saw the picture of DG sitting with Miles Bridges? Can he recruit him to sign with the Cavs in free agency?

– Ryan

From a pure basketball standpoint, Bridges makes sense for the Cavaliers. He’s a bigger forward that can start at the three and play at the four with either Jarrett Allen or Evan Mobley at center. Bridges is a multifaceted offensive threat that can stretch the floor and get to the basket, thanks to his strength and athleticism. He’s fully comfortable playing off the ball and benefiting from the passing of lead guards, making him an ideal fit next to Darius Garland (who Bridges was recently sitting next to courtside at the Drew League) and Donovan Mitchell.

Mind you, it’ll be a gamble for any team that pursues Bridges this offseason, Cleveland included. That’s because Bridges hasn’t played a second of NBA basketball in over a season due to being arrested on felony domestic violence charges in June 2022. In May, Bridges was accused of assaulting his then-girlfriend in front of their two children. In July, Bridges was arrested and charged with one felony count of injuring a child’s parent and two felony counts of child abuse under circumstances or conditions likely to cause great bodily injury or death, where he plead not guilty to all three charges. In November 2022, Bridges pled no contest and the two felony counts of child abuse.

The no-contest plea meant Bridges accepted the conviction and punishment without formally admitting guilt. As part of his probation, Bridges was required to complete 52 weeks of domestic violence counseling and 52 weeks of parenting classes, serve 100 hours of community service and undergo weekly narcotics testing with marijuana allowed only if there is a valid doctor’s prescription. He was not allowed to own any weapons or ammunition. He also would have to pay a restitution fine of $300 and a domestic violence fine of $500 and obey the terms of a 10-year protective order, staying 100 yards away from and having no contact with the woman he assaulted. She and Bridges maintain custody of their two children, and any visitation or exchange of children must be done peacefully and through a neutral third party.

Given that context, this is why, from an ethical standpoint, the Cavaliers cannot pursue Bridges in free agency.

According to the medical report, Bridges’ assault on his then-girlfriend showed signs of strangulation, brain concussion, closed fracture of the nasal bone, contusion of rib, multiple bruises and a neck muscle strain. Bridges pled no contest to this, which means he accepted the conviction without formally admitting it. Everyone deserves a second chance in life, but when it comes to Bridges, people shouldn’t normalize or forget what he did or why he was away from basketball for so long.

According to the National Coalition of Domestic Violence, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced physical violence by an intimate partner. 1 in 7 women and 1 in 25 men have been injured by an intimate partner and 1 in 10 women have been raped by an intimate partner.

Someone reading this could be a victim of domestic violence. So could somebody who works for or is affiliated with the Cavaliers organization. Personally, what Bridges did is unforgivable, but the sports-industrial complex is already morally bankrupt. They will ignore the pure evil for the wins an athlete could help provide – look at the Browns and their quarter-billionaire sexual predator at quarterback.

Sources have confirmed to Right Down Euclid that Cleveland is interested in possibly acquiring Bridges. With that said, I hope that’s why the Cavaliers should steer clear of Bridges due to how unethical signing him to a multimillion-dollar deal is. Besides, plenty of better options are out there, leading us to our next series of questions.

I will two birds, one stone these NBA free agency questions since things formally open up for the Cavaliers this evening.

It’s been reported that the Cavaliers were interested in Naz Reid before signing him to a three-year, $42 million contract extension. Thankfully, league sources have shared with Right Down Euclid that Cleveland is interested in free agent big man Mason Plumlee with those same sources saying that the Charlotte Hornets, Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns could all be in the mix for Plumlee as well. Ultimately, it depends on how much Plumlee would sign with a team in free agency, which would be roughly $4.4 million annually based on his production.

Based on the team resources available, the Clippers are out of the race for Plumlee. The Suns, meanwhile, are nearly as limited, only having a taxpayer mid-level exception worth $5.0 million to sign Plumlee. So, that leaves the Cavaliers and the Hornets, who both have their non-taxpayer mid-level exception ($12.4 million) and bi-annual exception ($4.5 million) available to keep them in the race for Plumlee.

If Plumlee would want to play in a winning situation, then Cleveland could easily slot him in on a one or two-year deal worth his projected amount. It would also give the Cavaliers the luxury to pursue other, more tangible options on the perimeter with their mid-level exception. Unfortunately, as the free agency market has shifted, sources say players like Boston’s Grant Williams or Miami’s Max Strus would commit the entirety of Cleveland’s mid-level exception due to the demand both players are generating.

It’s been reported that Cleveland prefers to use portions of their mid-level exception to sign multiple players to bolster their rotation. But, with the thin free agency pool, the Cavaliers may have no choice if they can acquire one of the high-end options, sign Plumlee and re-sign Caris LeVert. That would force Cleveland to be more dynamic than static on the trade market this offseason. But, considering how badly the Cavaliers need to improve their perimeter depth, all options should be on the table.

What is your top-five best and worst uniforms in the NBA?

– Nick

Best:

  1. Milwaukee Bucks
  2. Portland Trail Blazers
  3. Atlanta Hawks
  4. San Antonio Spurs
  5. Indiana Pacers

Worst:

  1. Dallas Mavericks (30)
  2. Oklahoma City Thunder (29)
  3. Houston Rockets (28)
  4. Los Angeles Clippers (27)
  5. Utah Jazz (26)

I think the pressure is on for Koby Altman this summer. He’s drafted intelligently (selecting the best player in the 2019 and 2021 NBA Drafts) and traded dynamically (acquiring Jarrett Allen and Donovan Mitchell) to build the Cavaliers to where they are today. Altman has played a major part in turning Cleveland into a winner, and expectations come with winning.

Altman and his staff are patient and pragmatic in building the Cavaliers. But, after remaining inactive at the trade deadline and not moving up to grab a wing last week, you have a point. Cleveland fell flat in the playoffs, and the expectation is not to let that happen again. The Cavaliers can no longer rest on the laurels of their regular season success. If they have a relatively quiet offseason despite having some options to be aggressive, I think it can be fair to start questioning the overall vision.

I saw you sharing a ton of memes on Twitter about the OceanGate submarine. Do you actually think it’s funny?

– Jason

Full disclosure: my brain is broken. I find humor in twisted situations sometimes. So, unlike some may think, I’ll let my work speak for me.

The sound of the submarine collapsing at that depth when it was picked up by a Canadian aircraft was haunting. It always is when you know that someone died at that exact moment. Thankfully it was likely a swift death due to the oceanic pressure and it’s much better than suffocating nearly two miles under the sea.

I can understand showing empathy in that situation, but the current meta-analysis of how the internet has somehow stolen our souls due to laughing at it is fascinating. The pure hubris makes it so personally funny, and it’s an incredibly simple comic formula. Something outlandish and insane happening in real time can be hard to comprehend. But the unbelievability of it all makes it even more fascinating to see this happen and the resulting escalation of it all makes it even more bizarre. The punchline is what we all expected to happen ultimately happened and the build-up and obsession over it makes it an overall interesting experience.

Some have a weird fixation and admiration for the people who imploded at the bottom of the ocean, but Richard Stockton Rush III the mastermind of OceanGate was genuinely evil. He ignored all red flags and safety concerns to create a death trap bound to fail. Wisdom and modesty are preferred over pride and wealth, and this case is no exception. Billionaires like this are separate from you or me. They don’t struggle to afford rent or pay their bills. They don’t have to budget. They don’t have to deal with constant economic strains. So, to see them knocked down a peg to where they’re suffering the ultimate stroke of humility at the expense of their own self-obsessed desires isn’t a total tragedy. There’s a bit of humor to it as well.

Plus, the orcas fighting back is genuinely funny as well. I, for one, welcome our new Orcin overlords.


Evan Dammarell is an award-winning sports journalist covering all things Cleveland right off the shores of Lake Erie. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. You can also email him at evan@downeuclid.com. He can also be found three to five times weekly on Locked On Cavs, a part of the Locked On Podcast Network.

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