By Johnny Askounis/ [email protected]

Entering his tenth season with the Milwaukee Bucks and also a season under contract, Khris Middleton understands the commercial part of the NBA.

Middleton, 31, has a player option for the 2023-24 season worth $40,396,552. Potentially skipping the option makes him an unrestricted free agent next summer. He is currently eligible to sign a new contract.

“Even though I know you’re really not supposed to say it for all the reasons, I think everyone knows deep down that I want to stay. But also, you know it’s a business. Things change, things happen. You never know. Of course, I would like to stay. If everything works out.” he says Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Of course, if they give me what I want, I’m here! I am here.”

After the 2018-19 season, he signed a five-year, $178 million contract extension. He was already six years in the long stay in Milwaukee and six years in the quality partnership with Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Bucks acquired him via trade, weeks after picking up the Greek Freak in the 2013 NBA Draft.

The pair’s crowning achievement was winning the 2021 NBA Championship. Getting injured in the subsequent playoffs and ruled out for the rest of the playoffs certainly didn’t help as the Bucks failed to win a back-to-back title. He suffered a medial collateral ligament sprain in his left knee.

“I want,” he said hoping to be cleared to play from the top in the 2022-23 season, “I would love to, but I have learned in the past to trust my training staff and my doctors. They know what they are doing. This is my first time going through this and they’ve been through it many times and they’ve seen what works and what doesn’t. So I learned to listen to them. I mean, you can push yourself, but don’t really.

Middleton was drafted by the Detroit Pistons with the 39th pick in the 2012 draft. Along with becoming NBA champion, his move to Milwaukee also saw him help Team USA win gold at the Olympics of 2020 and earn All-Star nominations in 2019, 2020 and 2022.

Photo credit: Getty Images

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