And let the speculation begin... Khris Middleton is opting OUT of his $40.4 million player option with the Milwaukee Bucks for the 2023–24 season, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
Three-time All-Star forward Khris Middleton has declined his $40 million player option with the Milwaukee Bucks to become a free agent, his agents Mike Lindeman and Jeff Schwartz of @excelbasketball tell ESPN. pic.twitter.com/k0sO5qhSk6— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 22, 2023
That would seem to point to Khris looking for a long-term extension somewhere. In a HoopsHype article recently, Michael Scotto talked to NBA execs who speculated Khris Middleton may command a contract in the 4-year, $130M range. If so, that seems like a fair enough deal to me, sacrificing a higher salary this year for more long-term security on Middleton’s part, particularly given his injury-plagued 2022–23 season. It seems like the signs are pointing to Khris returning to Milwaukee, as evidenced in that same Scotto piece and this follow-up tweet by Woj, but there is always the chance one of the few cap-flush teams near the bottom of the league may make a godfather offer.
The question then is whether Khris would be interested in that kind of payday in exchange for going to a team with far lower aspirations than Milwaukee’s championship hopes. For my money, coming back on a contract similar to what Scotto reported would be a good bit of business for the Bucks given that Jordan Poole and Tyler Herro commanded similar numbers. And it also keeps Khris on a fairly tradeable figure. Regardless, we’ll know much more about Milwaukee’s offseason plans within the coming weeks. Stay tuned to Brew Hoop for more.