Bucks rumors: Khris Middleton could command max contract
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Rumor: Bucks’ Khris Middleton could command max contract

Khris Middleton, Bucks

Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton could be in line for a max-level contract, according to Sean Deveney of Sporting News, should he decide to opt out of the last year of his contract. Middleton would be owed a mere $13 million if he opted into the last year of his deal, the last of a five-year, $70 million contract that at the time seemed generous from the Bucks.

Middleton has vastly improved since receiving the faith of ownership, managing to post incredibly encouraging numbers, despite suffering a left hamstring injury during the 2016-17 preseason that ruled him out for six months after undergoing surgery.

The 6-foot-8 3-and-D star returned after missing the first 50 games of the season and shot a blistering 43.3 percent from deep, only improving on that campaign in 2017-18, when he finally broke out as a legitimate 20-point threat.

Middleton is averaging 19.3 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists this young season and making 42.4 percent of his shots from the 3-point line after trading a lot of his mid-range jumpers for long-range ventures. He is now ranked sixth in the league with 3.1 3-point makes per game, a career high by a far margin (previous was 1.8 makes per game in two different seasons).

The Texas A&M star wouldn’t command a max contract if it wasn’t for the demand for his services, and boy is there plenty.

According to Deveney, “both the Lakers and Clippers will have interest in Middleton,” while he’ll have outside options with rebuilding teams like the New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks and Cleveland Cavaliers — all looking for a deadeye marksman to add to their roster.

Khris Middleton could command around a five-year, $190 million figure from the Bucks, or a four-year, $140 million deal from elsewhere, as one of the few elite 3-and-D delicacies in the NBA.