2023 Free Agency

Khris Middleton returning to Bucks on 3-year deal

The All-Star forward averaged 15.1 points, 4.9 assists and 4.2 rebounds for Milwaukee in 2022-23.

Khris Middleton is a 3-time All-Star and reliable 3-point shooter.

All-Star forward Khris Middleton will remain with the Milwaukee Bucks after agreeing to a three-year deal worth up to $102 million, per multiple reports. The deal became official on July 6.

This move comes after Middleton, who turns 32 on Aug. 12, had declined a $40.4 million player option for the upcoming season to become a free agent.

“Khris is core to who we are and really all the success we’ve had,” Bucks general manager Jon Horst had said last week during a post-draft news conference. “Our goal is always to sustain our success and continue to compete and (have) a chance to win and be in position to win year in and year out. We hope to have him back.”

The Bucks were hoping to hold on to Middleton and free-agent center Brook Lopez as part of their nucleus alongside two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and All-Star guard Jrue Holiday as they attempt to bounce back from two straight early playoff exits.

After playing his first NBA season with the Detroit Pistons, Middleton was dealt to the Bucks on July 31, 2013 with Brandon Knight and Viacheslav Kravtsov for Brandon Jennings. Since then, Middleton has emerged as a premiere “3-and-D” perimeter player, earning three All-Star nods in his time with the Bucks.

Middleton has been a reliable scorer alongside Antetokounmpo. Since becoming a regular starter in the 2015-16 season, Middleton has averaged 19 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 4.5 ast and 1.2 spg. He has shot 37% or better on 3-pointers in six of his 11 seasons and made 140 or more 3-pointers in six of his last eight seasons.

The 6-foot-7 forward was a critical part of the Bucks’ championship team in 2021 and delivered two memorable performances in the NBA Finals vs. the Phoenix Suns. In Game 4 he scored 40 points on 15-for-33 shooting in a 109-103 victory that tied the series 2-2. In Game 5, he had 29 points on 12-for-23 shooting to help Milwaukee go up 3-2 in a series they’d win in Game 6.

“Giannis is arguably the best player in the world, but we have some extraordinary talent on this team as well,” new Bucks coach Adrian Griffin said during his introductory press conference. “Khris, Jrue, Brook – those guys are probably No. 1s on any other team, so I’m excited to just be a part of this team and this culture, and I’m excited to coach them all.”

Middleton, who turns 32 on Aug. 12, averaged 15.1 points, 4.9 assists and 4.2 rebounds in last season, but played only 33 games due to a series of injuries. 

He missed the first 20 games of the season while recovering from wrist surgery and sat out 18 straight games later in the season due to a sore right knee.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.