Khris Middleton’s stock is fading fast
Khris Middleton only played 33 games last season, but a strong showing in the playoffs communicated to the Bucks that he still had enough in the tank to be Giannis Antetokounmpo’s wingman. That’s what led them to re-sign Middleton this summer to a lucrative three-year deal.
After an entire offseason to continue healing, however, Middleton still looks like he is nursing an injury. He is on a strict minutes limit of around 20 minutes per game, has missed two games already, and is taking on a smaller role in the offense even when he is on the court.
The larger problem is on defense, where Middleton is being taken advantage of and is clearly not the positive on that end that he used to be; he has just four steals and zero blocks on the season. Middleton is shooting the ball well enough, which is helping, but in just 18.7 minutes per game the Bucks aren’t getting much benefit from that; his 8.7 field goal attempts per game are by far his fewest since his rookie season.
Perhaps Middleton continues to round into form, the knee holds up and his minutes limit increases into the low 30s by the time the playoffs roll around. At this point, though, the odds that he has degenerative damage that will prevent him from regaining an All-Star level are high and inching higher, which is a disastrous reality for the Bucks if it comes to pass.