In a rebuilding process, once you find a player you’re happy with, you don’t let him go. The Milwaukee Bucks aren’t interested in losing Khris Middleton, and plan to match any offer the versatile shooter gets.
If rumors aren’t enough, then Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders suggests it’s a no-brainer. Middleton emerged as a reliable scoring option last season and the Bucks thinks there’s plenty of upside to his scoring and development as a player, so his restricted status doesn’t even matter. They’ll hold on to him no matter what, although don’t expect anybody to break the bank for him and force the Bucks’ hand.
Middleton thrived in a lot of small ball the Bucks played last season, which puts a lot of guys who can play two or three positions on the floor together. Despite the perceived tanking mode and the injury to Jabari Parker, the Bucks’ defense helped them somehow make the playoffs, as Middleton averaged 13.4 points per game, his best season since joining the league in 2012.
The second round pick out of South Carolina has done very well for the Bucks since joining from the Pistons, and raised his scoring to 15.8 points per game in the postseason, surprising the Bulls by pulling the series to six games. The Bucks will build around Middleton (and not him alone) as the franchise hopes that their embarrasing 2014 is just a one-time thing, and under Jason Kidd they’re destined for some very happy days.