Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton hasn't had the best luck over the past year, suffering two major injuries that led to him being limited to 33 regular season games in 2022-23.
However, despite his recent injury having a potential impact on his market value ahead of free agency, Middleton is rumored to be leaning towards declining his $40.3 million player option for the 2022-23 season (per ClutchPoints insider Brett Siegel).
“Middleton owns a $40.3 million player option for the 2023-24 season, but the three-time All-Star is leaning toward opting out of his contract to become an unrestricted free agent,” league sources tell Siegel.
Siegel adds that if the three-time All-Star “does not pick up his option for next season, the Bucks can offer Middleton a five-year, $272 million deal, whereas other teams could only offer him four years and just under $202 million.”
Middleton “is still eligible to sign an extension worth upwards of $220 million on top of his option for next season through June 30.”
Though Middleton worked to get his legs under him during the 2022-23 regular season, starting in just 19 of 33 possible games while averaging 15.1 points per game, he continued to elevate his game during the postseason. With Giannis Antetokounmpo once again limited by injury, Middleton stepped up to average a team-high 23.8 points per game, his highest scoring average in the playoffs since the Bucks won a championship in 2021.
That said, if Middleton were to opt out of his contract, there are a number of teams that will have the cap space necessary to sign him outright in free agency.