‘Three-time All-Star forward Khris Middleton has declined his $40 million player option with the Milwaukee Bucks to become a free agent, his agents Mike Lindeman and Jeff Schwartz of @excelbasketball tell ESPN.'
There were rumblings that Middleton would accept this option and return to Milwaukee, but right at the deadline he made the decision and will now hit free agency. However, as Wojnarowski reports, a return to the franchise remains a possibility as they hope to keep together their Khris Middleton-Giannis Antetokounmpo core.
After missing time with an injury that he suffered last postseason, Middleton finished with 15.1 PPG and 4.9 assists in 33 games and played all five postseason games against the Miami Heat.
For the moment, he will be a free agent, but the Bucks will try and work hard to bring him back. With new head coach Adrian Griffin in town, finding a way to keep the three-man core of Giannis, Middleton, and Jrue Holiday is certainly appealing to him.
Before the injury, Middleton had put together three straight 20-plus PPG seasons and has been named to the All-Star team three times. Moreover, he has spent every season of his career in Milwaukee, so picturing him in another NBA uniform is difficult for both sides to envision.
With the NBA Draft here and free agency approaching quickly, it will be a busy time in the NBA circles, and the Khris Middleton contract situation will be one to keep an eye on.