Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton has surely taken a major step up within the franchise, elevating himself from role player to a star-caliber level after his consistent and at times heroic play in the postseason.
The 6-foot-8 sharpshooter is now due to make $13 million next season and has a $13 million player-option for the 2019-20 campaign, but he's yet to pay that any mind whatsoever.
“Right now I’m just going to play out my contract,” Middleton said when asked about his future, according to Michael Scotto of The Athletic. “I’m not going to put any pressure on myself or think about opportunities that could come up sooner. The way I got to where I am today is taking one day at a time and focusing on my game. Everything will take care of itself once you win also with that. That’s all I’m really worried about.”
If Middleton's emergence as Giannis Antetokounmpo's Robin to his Batman, let's remember how it was Middleton, not Jabari Parker accompanying The Greek Freak to a breakfast outing with now-coach Mike Budenholzer as the latter part of a second interview with the team.
“It’s a great honor,” Middleton said of being a part of the breakfast. “The front office and the owners, they have a lot of confidence in me. They want me to be there long-term. They brought it to my attention that they wanted me to be a part of the process. That’s a huge thing for me. It makes me feel comfortable. It makes me want to be there longer.”
To say Middleton is wanted by the franchise is a massive understatement, he is in line for a massive pay day after having a dreamy postseason series, averaging 24.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game throughout their best-of-seven affair with the Boston Celtics.
Middleton shot a studly 60 percent from the floor and a blistering 61 percent from deep, including a memorable 3-point barrage at the end of games, which gave the Bucks a lifeline against a hot-shooting Celtics team.
The Texas A&M product has quickly become one of the very best three-and-D products in the league and one that is due for a star-like deal to become Antetokounmpo's main guy as the Bucks look to figure out the puzzle with Budenholzer at the helm.