Former NBA Champion Shocks Fans With His Uncertainty About His $40 Million Player Option

Khris Middleton
Wikimedia | CalDoesIt

Ernesto Cova

Khris Middleton went from the G-League to becoming an All-Star, an NBA champion, and a guy who signed a five-year, $177.5 million contract.

He's the second-best player in one of the best teams in the Association, a fan favorite, and a guy many teams would want on their roster, given his versatility and ability to contribute on both ends of the floor.

Milwaukee Is Home

But as much interest as he'd get in free agency, it seems like Middleton has found a home with the Milwaukee Bucks and within the community:

“This is my place of peace, basically,” Middleton told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “It’s just that feeling you get when you come back here. As you feel, the slow pace here. Like, everything is chill. And that’s what I love about it the most, is that it fits me.”

He's Still Working

Just like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris still thinks he has to earn his stripes and get better every single day. That mindset has helped the Bucks build a winning culture after decades of struggles:

“I still think of myself as that guy who just came into Milwaukee. I think that keeps the motivation," the guard said. “That mindset — I knew I had a lot to work on. That’s kind of how I’d like to keep it.”

It's All Business

However, Middleton could opt out of his contract after this season and become an unrestricted free agent. And while he's never said he'll walk away, he did leave the door open for that possibility:

“Even though I know you’re really not supposed to say it for all the reasons out there, but I think everybody knows deep down that I want to stay. But also, you know it’s a business," Middleton added Things change, things happen. You just never know. For sure I would love to stay."

It's Not An Easy Call

Khris claims that there are plenty of factors to consider before making a decision, including what's best for his family:

“That’s how I feel like I will make my decision — what’s going to be best, what’s going to make me happy, what’s going to make me at peace the most?" Middleton added. “I think that’s the way I’ve done it in the past and so far it’s worked for me. I felt like I’ve made the right decisions at the time and hopefully this time around I’ll make the right decision too.”

At the end of the day, Middleton has proven to be worthy of every penny. So, hopefully, both parties will find a way to keep the band together for the long run.