Bucks' Khris Middleton Declines $13M Contract Player Option, Will Be Free AgentJune 19, 2019
Khris Middleton will officially become a free agent after declining his $13 million player option for 2019-20, according to ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski.
The option was the final year of his original five-year, $70 million contract signed in 2015, which was front-loaded. He will now have the opportunity to potentially earn a max contract on the open market, which could pay him north of $30 million per year.
Wojnarowski added Middleton "is expected to command a five-year max contract to stay with the Bucks – or a four-year, max deal elsewhere in the NBA."
The 27-year-old is coming off an outstanding season as the No. 2 option on the best team in the NBA during the regular season. The wing averaged 18.3 points per game while setting career highs with 6.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game.
These efforts helped the Bucks finish an NBA-best 60-22 on the season while also giving him his first career All-Star selection.
Although this served as a bit of a breakout year nationally for Middleton, he was arguably even better in 2017-18 when he averaged 20.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. His all-around effort helped him finish last season ranked 36th in the entire league with 6.9 win shares, per Basketball Reference.
He has been an elite perimeter defender throughout his time in the NBA and has continued to improve on the offensive end over the past few years. Adding in a 38.8 percent career mark from three-point range, he can fit in any system and be a key player.
The Bucks would love to keep him on the roster next to Giannis Antetokounmpo, although there will likely be plenty of demand throughout the NBA.
Wherever he ends up, Middleton will likely continue being one of the top two-way players in the NBA. The only difference is he will now be getting paid like one.