Bucks Urged to Trade $93 Million Star, Champion

Khris Middleton

Getty Khris Middleton

With Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Milwaukee Bucks have a window. Sometimes, to take advantage of a window, contenders have to trade away familiar pieces for upgrades. One way in which the Bucks is by trading Khris Middleton.

Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz explained why it might be time for the Bucks to cut ties with Middleton.

“Injuries have hampered Khris Middleton the past few seasons. An All-Star as recently as 2021-22, the 32-year-old has played just 76 total games the past two seasons while averaging a modest 14.9 points on 34.9 percent shooting from three,” Swartz wrote in a March 18 story.

The Bucks are short on assets at the moment because of previous trades. That is why Swartz believes trading Middleton is their best bet at making noise in the East.

“Moving on from Middleton may be necessary to catch the Boston Celtics in the East, sending him and picks to another team for an upgrade on the wing.”

Middleton is in the first year of a three-year, $93 million contract. His injury history, as Swartz alluded to, might hurt his trade value if the Bucks put him on the market.

Khris Middleton Talks About Injury Recovery

After missing 16 games, Middleton played against the Phoenix Suns on March 17. When the Bucks cleared him to play, Middleton talked about how frustrating the recovery process has been.

“I mean, (I) just feel good enough to play at this point,” Middleton told reporters, per The Athletic’s Eric Nehm. “I’ve been frustrated sitting out for so long, but when you have an ankle sprain as bad as I did, it just takes time. Sometimes, it takes a little bit longer than others, but I’m happy to be back.”

He also added what the biggest hurdle was for him as he recovered from his ankle sprain.

“With injuries a lot and coming back, you’re able to control a lot of your movements and rehab, but once you get into games, especially on the defensive side, it becomes more of a reactive thing,” Middleton said. “And I wasn’t able to react in the way I wanted to off the movement — guarding pick-and-rolls, guarding guys off the dribble — without the comfort I needed to go out there and play. So that was the last little bit of hurdle that I was trying to cross.”

Middleton scored 22 points while shooting eight-for-15 from the field to go with seven assists.

Khris Middleton Called ‘Key’ to Bucks Chances

Following Middleton’s performance, former NBA wing Chandler Parsons explained why he is key to the Bucks’ title chances.

“[Middleton] is the key. He was huge in [Milwaukee’s] title run before, and he’s huge now,” Parsons said on the March 18 episode of Run It Back. “This was the first time I’ve seen him almost just healthy, fresh, and getting to his spots. Looking like he did a couple of years ago, so it’s a great luxury to have. He was their closer when they won a championship. The ball was in his hands. He was the one to go get a bucket, and now you see him get back to his old ways. Things like this, hitting stepbacks, posting up smaller guys. It’s just another dynamic that they have.”

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