Milwaukee Bucks: How will franchise history view Khris Middleton?

NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 13: (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 13: (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /
1 of 5
MILWAUKEE, WI – FEBRUARY 27: (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI – FEBRUARY 27: (Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Khris Middleton has had an excellent five years with the Milwaukee Bucks, but what kind of legacy is he building in the franchise’s greater history?

Although a season of ups and downs may have led many to forget, Khris Middleton is one of the best Milwaukee Bucks of the last two decades.

For the five years he has been with the team, Middleton has consistently been one of the team’s premier scorers and playmakers, while also performing at an elite level on the defensive end. Short of a certain Giannis Antetokounmpo’s presence, Middleton would be considered the undoubted leader of this team, albeit the team would have a much lower ceiling in that scenario.

With many important chapters likely still to be written in his time with the Bucks, it’s interesting to consider where Middleton could rank in the team’s overall history, though.

More from Bucks News

Middleton has become a somewhat divisive figure as he works through a season that includes career-bests in scoring and career-worsts in three-point percentage, but the entire picture of Middleton’s contributions to Milwaukee is still overwhelmingly shaded in the positive.

Even if Middleton was to retire right now, he would leave Milwaukee as one of the best three-point shooters (just outside of the all-time top-10 in percentage, top five in both attempts and makes) and free throw shooters (fourth in percentage) in franchise history.

However, with a further year-and-a-half still remaining on his current deal and his impending free agency after that, who knows how much further those numbers will rise?

The ultimate honor in any NBA franchise’s history is jersey retirement, and much like any of his teammates — including Giannis Antetokounmpo — that possibility remains a very distant dream for the 26-year-old.

Not only would Middleton’s individual numbers in Milwaukee need a continued climb to even warrant real consideration, but more so, he would need to be a part of a Bucks team that makes deep playoff runs to coincide with regular season greatness.

The Bucks currently have eight retired jerseys in their history, and the players who have had that honor bestowed on them can almost universally boast individual and team brilliance during their time in Milwaukee.

One would be hard pressed to argue against the quality of Milwaukee’s jersey retirees, as they are certainly some of the best players to ever pull on a Bucks uniform. However, it’s not the inclusions on the list that raise an eyebrow as much as some of the glaring omissions.

Some of the greatest players in Bucks history including Ray Allen, Glenn Robinson, Marques Johnson and Terry Cummings have not yet received the honour. Neither has Michael Redd, whose No. 22 now graces Middleton’s back.

In fact, no Buck to have played post-1989 has received the honor, which speaks volumes to how Bucks are remembered with the passing of time. The Bucks have not been a relevant, powerhouse team in the East since the 1980s, and as a result, some truly outstanding players have failed to get the credit they deserve.

So where does that leave Khris Middleton, and to a larger extent his current teammates? Let’s take a closer look at what its going to take for Middleton’s excellent first five years in Milwaukee to translate to an indelible place in the franchise’s history.