Bucs’ Khris Middleton declines $40.4 million player option per source: What it means for Milwaukee

Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton has declined his player option for next season, league sources confirmed. Athletic. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Middleton’s player option is $40.4 million.
  • Middleton averaged 15.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists last season, upping his averages to 23.8 points, 6.4 rebounds and 6.2 assists in the postseason.
  • Despite his option being declined, Middleton could return to Milwaukee.

AthleticInstant Analysis:

Why did he quit?

Opting out allows Middleton to try to get a long-term deal as opposed to a one-year deal with the Bucks. While Middleton won’t see a first-year deal worth $40.4 million on the open market, he could now sign up for a long commitment to the Bucks or any of the other 29 teams in the NBA.

Bucks general manager Jon Horst has publicly admitted the team doesn’t want Middleton to go anywhere else, something new coach Adrian Griffin confirmed in his introductory news conference. — take it

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What does this mean for Bucks?

The result didn’t come as a shock to the Bucks. Players regularly opt out when they believe they can see comparable value in a deal on the open market, which Middleton should have.

Before undergoing a minor arthroscopic procedure in June to address a right knee problem that plagued him all season, Middleton put up strong offensive numbers — 23.8 points, 6.4 rebounds and 6.2 assists — in the Bucks’ five-game playoff series against the Heat. 34.6 minutes per game with 46.5 percent field goal percentage and 40.5 percent 3-point percentage.

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He is expected to return to the court in July to prepare for next season. According to John Hollinger’s rankings, he’s the best small forward on the market, and the Bucks should make a competitive offer to keep him. — take it

What are they saying?

“It’s very clear, Chris and Brooke (Lopez) have been instrumental in what we’ve done and who we are,” Hurst said on May 5.

“I think it’s much more respected by us now, and going forward,” he added. “They both have different decisions, but decisions in front of them. We have different options with these guys. What’s clear is we want to find a way to move forward with these guys. There are a number of options — extensions, picks, waivers, free agency — when appropriate or when it’s appropriate. , we’ve been involved in navigating the people with them directly and with their representatives. And we’re going to continue to do that. How that plays out, I don’t know. Ultimately, none of these are unilateral decisions in the case of these two individuals. We have a role in that. They have a role in that. We’ll continue to work with them. .

After his introductory press conference on June 6, Griffin said: “For me, competing against them all these years, I’m probably one of (Chris and Brooke’s) biggest advocates. I have seen firsthand how good these players are. John and I were going to sit down, but I approached all the players and expressed how excited I was. Obviously, those are a big part of what we’re trying to do moving forward, they’re big pieces. I said this in the press conference, Giannis is arguably the best player in the world, but Cris, Juru (Holiday) and Brook, you take them in any other team, they are clearly number one. This speaks to the special talent we have on this list.

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The Detroit Pistons drafted Middleton in the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft. Played one year in the Detroit system before being acquired by the Bucs. He has spent the last 10 seasons in Milwaukee.

Middleton started 19 of his 33 games last season, averaging 24.3 minutes, and started all five postseason contests in Milwaukee’s first-round elimination by the Heat.

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(Photo: Stacey Revere/Getty Images)

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