3 things the Milwaukee Bucks need to prioritize during 2023 off-season

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - APRIL 19 (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - APRIL 19 (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /
2 of 3
Milwaukee Bucks: Khris Middleton, Miami Heat: Bam Adebayo
MIAMI, FLORIDA – APRIL 24 (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images) /

2 – What to do with Khris Middleton

Khris Middleton has a player option for $40 million this off-season, and the Milwaukee Bucks have a huge decision to make over his future. His current salary of $37.9m has him as the 13th highest-paid player in the NBA, and his player option would put him into the top 10 highest-paid players.

He played well in the Heat series, averaging 23.8 points with six rebounds and six assists, which was a good return in an overall poor team display. The former Detroit Piston has been an excellent servant for the Bucks, but with him and Jrue Holiday, question marks are being raised about whether they move on from one of them or both to add pieces alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo.

I think many people will see Middleton as not being a $40 million player and that the dent it has in the salary cap is huge for someone that is a borderline All-Star. There is the potential of the Bucks discussing with him and having the player option turned down and renegotiating a deal to around the $30 million per year mark to allow for money to be spent on other areas of the roster.

It is well documented that the Bucks went all in and so have a lack of assets and in the 2023 NBA draft they only have the final pick of the entire draft and so it may have to be some of their big stars having to be moved in order to change up the roster. Milwaukee also doesn’t have a first round pick until 2028 which means that to get any young potential players in they have to hit in the second round or bite the bullet and move on from Middleton or Holiday to acquire assets.

One thing we cannot forget is that he missed most of this season and still contributed a lot in the second half of the season, however, he is 31 years old, and the Milwaukee Bucks team as a whole is not young, so the front office will have to choose a direction to go in.

I think the Bucks should definitely speak to Middleton about renegotiating a deal as $40 million is a lot for a borderline All-Star caliber player, but with what he has done for the organization I would not be surprised to hear him take the player option. I also won’t be surprised if we see him involved in trade rumors whether that is the Milwaukee Bucks looking to move on or other teams showing interest.