Central Notes: Middleton, Love, Butler

Bucks‘ swingman Khris Middleton wishes to return to Milwaukee next season, Charles F. Gardner of The Journal Sentinel relays (Twitter links). “I hope to be back here,” Middleton said. “I feel we have a great young team, going in the right direction.” The 23-year-old can become a restricted free agent this offseason provided the Bucks tender him a qualifying offer worth $2,725,003. Middleton also noted that he wouldn’t want negotiations between he and Milwaukee to become drawn out, and referenced Eric Bledsoe and the Suns’ dealings from last summer, Gardner adds. “That’s a terrible situation,” said Middleton. “It worked out for him but it’s something I’d rather not be in.

Here’s more out of the Central Division:

  • The dislocated shoulder that knocked Kevin Love out of action for four to six months also ruined his chance at redeeming what the forward termed a “so-so” first season with the Cavs, Chris Haynes of The Northeast Ohio Media Group writes.
  • Bulls‘ swingman Jimmy Butler‘s uncanny ability to accept criticism from his coaches without reacting emotionally is a major reason that the 25-year-old has matured into a star player in the NBA, Eric Weiss and Kevin O’Connor of DraftExpress write in their profile of player. Butler will become a restricted free agent this summer if Chicago tenders him a qualifying offer of $4,433,683.
  • The Cavs have already begun recruiting Love to remain in Cleveland with their statements about how much the big man will be missed now that he is out for the remainder of the playoffs, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today writes. The scribe cites comments like ones made by guard Kyrie Irving, who said, “When one of your brothers goes down, there’s a piece of us that went with him.”

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