The Milwaukee Bucks have struggled to replicate the postseason success that they achieved in the 2020-21 season, which ended up with an NBA Championship. Regardless, they still seemingly want to retain their core, which included re-signing three-time All-Star forward Khris Middleton, which they did on Friday.
Middleton had an extremely disappointing season marred with injuries last season, averaging only 15.1 points per game in 31 games played.
Despite this, the Bucks gave him a huge vote of confidence with a massive contract extension. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Friday that Middleton has agreed to a three-year $102 million deal to stay with the Bucks for the foreseeable future.
Three-time All-Star Khris Middleton has agreed on a new three-year, $102 million deal to stay with the Milwaukee Bucks, his agents Mike Lindeman and Jeff Schwartz of @excelbasketball tell ESPN. Middleton keeps franchise a championship contender with his return. Player option. pic.twitter.com/o2E7vXXQj8
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2023
Considering his poor season last year, many fans had mixed feelings about him returning on such a big contract.
— Joshua Unangst (@JoshuaUnangst13) June 30, 2023
Feels like the Bucks are hitting a ceiling with the current iteration of this core. They don’t have enough quickness on the wing, their role players aren’t good enough, and Khris Middleton is aging and becoming increasingly injury prone.
I think they had to retain Khris… https://t.co/qAp34kjrGM
— Beyond The Data (@BeyondTheData) June 30, 2023
Brandon Ingram: $33 Million a season
Andrew Wiggins: $25 Million a season
Incredible value for the caliber of player lmao, we got Jerami Grant and Khris Middleton signing max contracts left and right. https://t.co/CU3LpGaM3W
— BIB Hoops🟦 (@BIBHoops) June 30, 2023
No surprise at all with Khris Middleton returning to the Bucks. Now, we wait for Brook Lopez. https://t.co/4MfflAtw0a
— Evan Sidery (@esidery) June 30, 2023
If you are not happy about the Khris extension, that's a you problem.
— Nathan Marzion (@nathanmarzion) June 30, 2023
Middleton has certainly proven in the past that he can be a good second option behind Giannis Antetokounmpo on a championship-caliber team.
That being said, it does seem like the team as a whole could be peaking after their championship win three years ago, and there could be an argument that getting younger around Antetokounmpo would be a smart option.
Instead, they will run it back with a similar roster next season, as long as they are able to bring back veteran big man Brook Lopez, who is also a highly coveted free agent around the league.