Report: Khris Middleton expected to get 5-year deal, close to max money from Bucks
The Giannis Antetokounmpo recruiting experience will start as soon as June 30, 2019 — two full years before he’s set to become an unrestricted free agent. First order of business will be to sign sharpshooter Khris Middleton to a new deal, one a Western Conference executive believes will be a five-year deal for close to max money:
“He’s going back,” the West exec told Jordan Brenner of The Athletic. “What I hear is he will get a fifth year, but take a little less at the beginning. It won’t be the max, but it’ll be close.”
The Bucks are likely to give Middleton an escalating contract that will start with easier figures in his eighth and ninth seasons before building into much beefier numbers in the last three, including a likely player option for the fifth and last of his contract.
Keeping Middleton in house will be the first step for the Bucks’ campaign to convince The Greek Freak to stay with the team in free agency, hoping he would ditch the opportunity to play in bigger markets by surrounding him with a core of players that can make his team a constant contender in the East.
A 6-foot-8 first-time All-Star selection, Middleton posted career highs in rebounding (6.0) and assists (4.3) last season, while ceding some of his own offense to allow for Antetokounmpo’s full bloom — one that now has him penned as a finalist for the Most Valuable Player award.
The Bucks re-signed Eric Bledsoe late in the season, but keeping Middleton will prove important, as it was he who accompanied Antetokounmpo to a breakfast that sealed the deal with Coach of the Year candidate Mike Budenholzer this past offseason.