Over the last two seasons, Khris Middleton has performed at an All-Star level despite earning the salary of a run-of-the-mill NBA starter. When the summer of 2019 arrived, all indications were that Middleton, who unsurprisingly declined a $13 million player option in mid-June, would command a king’s ransom on the free agent market.
Now, that expectation is a reality, with Middleton agreeing to a gigantic five-year deal with the Bucks, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Middleton earned his first All-Star selection last season, averaging 18.3 points, 6 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game for the 60-win Bucks. While he undoubtedly operated in the shadow of NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, Middleton was a key cog in the wheel for Milwaukee, combining solid defense with shot creation and the ability to space the floor as a strongly above-average three-point shooter.
While there is skepticism in some circles as to whether Middleton is a typical “max” player, the 27-year-old wing arrived on the market at the perfect time, both in his aging curve and with the premium the NBA is placing on two-way wings. It remains to be seen as to how the next several years will go but, if nothing else, Middleton will be paid as a top-tier piece after providing real contract value over the last few years.