As NBA free agency begins to heat up, Khris Middleton and the Milwaukee Bucks are hoping to make a return possible.
Middleton didn’t perform like his usual self in the 2022-23 season. His PPG total dropped from 2021 (20.1) to 15.1, and so did his rebounding and assist totals. He missed a lot of time battling wrist and knee injuries, but made it back in time for the playoffs to lead the team in scoring with 23.8 PPG in their five games against the Miami Heat. Middleton will turn 32 in August, so it’s uncertain whether the Bucks see a future with the three-time All-Star.
Best landing spots for Khris Middleton
The veteran forward declined his $40 million player option on June 21, making him a free agent target for many potential suiters around the league. It remains a possibility that Middleton will return to the Bucks on a longer deal, as the organization believes that he and Giannis Antetokounmpo can bring home another ring. However, there haven’t been any signs to this point that indicate a mutual agreement happening ahead of the moratorium period on June 30.
Losing Middleton would leave a drastic gap in the Bucks rotation. He’s been there for 10 years and has been a model complementary star next to Antetokounmpo, so perhaps the Bucks have a plan here.
There’s a lot of hysteria surrounding the Grizzlies organization at the moment, but none of it has to do with their state as a basketball team. They have the talent to compete for championships for many years if the drama get sorted out. Ja Morant is suspended for 25 games next season, and Dillon Brooks won’t be back on the roster. This team could use a spark at the wing position. Long-term, Middleton could be a solid second star for the Grizzlies and help them immensely on defense.
The Mavericks are in need of a co-star to pair with Luka Doncic. If Kyrie Irving returns to the roster, then they’ll definitely have one. But since the team lost Dorian Finney-Smith during the trade deadline last year, they’ve kind of been without the “do-it-all” role player that makes or breaks a franchise. Middleton would certainly be the upgraded version of Finney-Smith while taking some scoring pressure off Doncic.