JULY 9TH, 12:30pm: The deal is official, the team announced.
“Khris played a huge role in our turnaround last season and has become a leader on our young team,” GM John Hammond said. “Keeping Khris in a Bucks uniform was a huge priority for us this offseason, and we’re thrilled that he’ll continue to grow with our young core as we work towards building a championship-caliber team in Wisconsin.”
9:46am: Milwaukee and the Mike Lindeman client indeed have an agreement, reports Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press.
JULY 1ST, 2:28am: The Bucks and restricted free agent Khris Middleton are close to signing a new deal, Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports. The proposed arrangement will be for five years, and $70MM, Stein notes. The deal will include a player option for the fifth year, adds Stein. Milwaukee had tendered Middleton a qualifying offer worth $2.275MM, and would have had the right to match any offer sheet the forward were to sign with another franchise.
It doesn’t come as a shock that Middleton will return to Milwaukee, as the Bucks were set to match any offer sheets for the restricted free agent, according to a previous report by Stein. The ESPN scribe had pegged the degree of certainty that Middleton would be back with the Bucks in 2015/16 as a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10. Retaining Middleton and signing a big man in free agency are Milwaukee’s top two offseason priorities, Stein adds (via Twitter).
Middleton’s proposed deal would be for less then the league maximum, but not by much. A league executive had told Sean Deveney of The Sporting News that the young forward would draw an offer of around $15MM annually, with the max being an estimated $15.8MM for a player with his experience level, while another executive told Gery Woelfel of the Journal Times that he doubted Middleton would command that amount, and estimated the 23-year-old would only receive $9MM per year on his next deal. Deveney’s estimation was closer, with Middleton’s average annual salary on the pact coming in at approximately $14MM per season.
In 79 appearances this past campaign, including 58 as a starter, Middleton averaged 13.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 30.1 minutes per night. His career numbers are 11.8 PPG, 3.8 RPG, and 2.0 APG, with a shooting line of .453/.403/.858.