In a tightly contested poll, Jrue Holiday edged out Khris Middleton to be named the third most important player on the Bucks. Then only two spots remained. To the surprise of absolutely no one, Middleton will maintain his role as deputy on the Bucks, taking the no. 2 spot on our rankings for the third consecutive season.
The small forward out of Texas A&M (great school by the way; would recommend) is entering his 12th season in the league and his 11th in Milwaukee. He earned All-Star nods in 2019, 2020, and 2022 and played a pivotal role in the title run in 2021. Outside of Giannis, Khris has a strong case as the most important player in the modern era of Bucks basketball.
His journey in Milwaukee has hit some turbulence during the last two seasons, though. He suffered a season-ending knee injury in the first round of the 2022 playoffs, and he sat for more than half of the 2022–23 regular season with various injuries. He had the chance to step up in the opening round against Miami with Giannis sidelined for nearly three games, but he was pretty hot and cold during that stretch.
This summer, Khris inked a three-year, $102 million contract extension to stay in the Cream City for the foreseeable future. In the season ahead, we’ll likely get to see Middleton fully healthy for the first time in about two years. Does this mean his performance will return to title-run form? It’s hard to say. Sure, he’s on the wrong side of thirty, but he hasn’t really shown a serious physical decline up to this point outside of those nagging injuries.
At the risk of appearing biased, I would say it’s more likely than not that he will return to form in the upcoming campaign. Let me tell you, that is an exciting proposition for Bucks fans! In case you needed a refresher, here is what Khris is capable of when he is playing at his peak:
This is probably one of the easiest gut checks of this series up to this point, but for the sake of consistency, here you go:
Gut Check: How confident are you that Khris Middleton will be in the playoff rotation?
This poll is closed
1 - Not in the rotation at all
2 - Might play a few rotation minutes here and there
3 - Will get some minutes, depending on the series
4 - Will be part of the rotation, playing steady minutes
5 - Firmly in the rotation, playing heavy minutes!
Up next, we finally get to reveal the top player on the 2023 edition of Ranking the Roster. Any guesses on who that might be?