It’s no secret that the top priority for the Milwaukee Bucks this off-season is keeping two of their core pieces in Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez.
Lopez is set to outright enter free agency unrestricted, while Middleton will ponder a $40.4 million player option first. In all likelihood, he will decline that to ink a new deal with the Bucks. Among the most prominent questions making its way around league circles is what Middleton could earn on a new extension with the Bucks. HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto spoke with some executives who are of the mindset that Milwaukee wants to keep Middleton and expect the forward to command an extension worth $130 million over four years.
Insider reveals what Khris Middleton’s extension with Bucks could look like
In the grand scheme of things, that extension by Middleton isn’t too bad. It’s certainly less than what he could get, especially if he were to entertain leaving; the Houston Rockets are reportedly interested in the three-time All-Star and could throw plenty of money his way. Rather than hunt a huge payday, all signs point to Middleton sticking around in Milwaukee, even if he takes a slight pay cut to do so, though nothing is set in stone just yet.
Keeping Middleton around is Milwaukee’s best bet right now, given their current limitations from a financial and asset standpoint. Finding meaningful upgrades would be a challenge, and letting him walk for nothing in free agency would be disastrous. A sign-and-trade may sound enticing, but the odds of the Bucks getting anything extremely valuable in that are slim, as that’s oftentimes how these NBA sign-and-trades work.
At 31 years old, Middleton still has plenty of fuel left in the tank as well. Yes, he dealt with some tough injuries this past season, especially in his knee. However, the forward reportedly underwent a procedure after the season to fix this issue, and it should not hinder him anymore. If Middleton has a fully healthy off-season, unlike last season, it would be a big change compared to last year, having undergone a wrist procedure before these knee issues popped up. In short, he was pretty banged up last year, but the hope is that will not be the case once again this year after a string of procedures and a tough season in 2022-23.
When healthy, Khris Middleton can certainly be a key cog on a championship-contending team.
Stay tuned for more Milwaukee Bucks analysis and NBA free agency rumors.