Khris Middleton might be the most underrated player in the league. After only being limited to 29 games during the 2016-17 season, Middleton bounced back playing in all 82 games last year. He was a solid number two to Giannis Antetokounmpo. All eyes will be on Middleton this season as he has a player option for next year.
As a number two, Middleton averaged 20 ppg, 5 rpg, 4 apg and shot 35% from 3-point range. He hit a total of 146 3-pointers while playing solid defense all year long. In the playoffs he averaged 24 ppg, 5 rpg, shot 59% from the field and 61% from 3. He hit 25 3-pointers in that seven game series against the Celtics. He was not afraid of the moment and he even hit a game tying 3-pointer in game one.
The next step for Middleton is an All-Star game. He has a better coach in Mike Budenholzer so the Bucks offense will flow better. There will be more opportunities for Middleton to launch 3-pointers. The Bucks hope to make a leap this season. They pushed the Celtics to seven games but they had plenty of chances to win that series.
Middleton does have a player option around $13 million for next season. If he makes an All-Star or has another solid season he could easily opt out of that contract and get a big payday. There will be some big time free agents next year and maybe Middleton can slip under the radar and grab a nice contract.
Milwaukee needs Middleton next to Giannis. He is a great number two option who doesn’t demand the ball. He gives Giannis the space he needs to attack the basket and he’s good enough to guard 1-3. He’s the only other option on this Bucks team that could go get them a basket.
He may not be at the top of the list but expect Middleton’s contract to be mentioned often throughout the season. If the Bucks make a deep playoff run maybe that encourages him to resign with them. There will be a lot of teams with cap space next year. He’s a solid 3&D guy, a 2nd round draft pick who might be looking for a huge payday.