Milwaukee Bucks: Comparing Khris Middleton to franchise greats

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - FEBRUARY 04: (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - FEBRUARY 04: (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

As Khris Middleton remains a key cog for the Milwaukee Bucks years into his career with the team, how does he compare to the franchise’s greats?

Seven years and two All-Star appearances into his career with the Milwaukee Bucks, Khris Middleton is in the process of constructing quite the legacy with the franchise.

Originally arriving from the Detroit Pistons as something of an afterthought in the Brandon Jennings/Brandon Knight trade, Middleton has flourished in Milwaukee, and now become one of the leading lights on the franchise’s best team for over 30 years.

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Middleton has undoubtedly had his share of good fortune in terms of his time in Milwaukee coinciding with Giannis Antetokounmpo, who looks likely to be a back-to-back MVP whenever this season’s awards are ultimately given out.

Still, Middleton deserves plenty of praise for his exceptional development on an individual basis too, which has seen him go from an unheralded second round pick to one of the NBA’s most complete and well-rounded players.

Middleton’s legacy could be further cemented in the next couple of seasons, placing him alongside the franchise’s true top tier players of all-time, particularly if the Bucks can make it back to the Finals, or go one step further to secure a second NBA championship.

Even on an individual basis, though, Middleton is rapidly climbing all-time Bucks leaderboards. Given that he’s under contract for four more seasons beyond the current campaign, Middleton could very easily find himself as one of the most decorated, longest tenured, and prolific players to ever have played for the franchise in the not so distant future.

While Middleton may not yet rank in the Bucks’ top 10 in many key counting stat totals, he’s on track to break into that realm across the board very soon.

With 483 regular season games played, Middleton is just 41 games behind Marques Johnson for 10th all-time in terms of games played for the Bucks. Only 228 games off Junior Bridgeman in first place, if Middleton stays relatively healthy and sees out his current contract with the team, he’d almost certainly surpass that mark.

Realistically, only Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has played 39 games more than Middleton at present, would seem likely to prevent Middleton from getting to top spot, if he signs an extension to his current deal.

Similarly, Middleton is just 1,400 minutes away from passing Jon McGlocklin, who is currently 10th all-time in Bucks minutes, although Antetokounmpo is just 25 minutes away from making that spot his own too.

Of course, Middleton’s versatile skill-set means he’s not far from etching his name into the history books in a whole variety of other categories too.

Currently third all-time in made three-pointers as a Buck, Middleton is just 176 triples behind Ray Allen in top spot. In other words, that’s a mark he’s likely to surpass within a full season.

Likewise, with 8,123 points as a Buck, Middleton could just be a season or so away from overtaking Allen for 10th in terms of total points too.

Perhaps just as impressive, though, is that Middleton will likely finish his time as a Buck cracking the top-10 leaderboards for assists (likely making it next season) and rebounds, (two seasons down the line), and is already eighth all-time in terms of steals.

Of course, none of this will be important for Middleton in the moment, but by the time his tenure with the Bucks comes to an end, it will grow in significance. Rightly or wrongly, when it comes to assessing whether a player’s jersey number should be retired, at that point the question will be what were the memories they provided for fans, and how do their stats stack up in the bigger picture.

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Considering how good the Bucks are at present, the first part of that may well be in Middleton’s favor, and he’s certainly on track to do his part on the latter front too.