CHARLESTON, USA – With the NBA free agency already rolling, it’s not just potential unrestricted free agents that are being talked about.
NBA teams are looking to sign some of their players to contract extensions that could lock them to long-term contracts – maintaining flexibility in teams’ salary cap for the future.
But Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton, whose name has been floated around in this year’s free agency, is keeping the contract talks to a low.
“Absolutely no thought into it,” Middleton emphasized when asked his free agency and the possibility of being given an extension.
“I’m focused on just getting my game right. My agent knows that I don’t like to talk about contracts unless it comes up on the table and I have to make a decision there.”
“I haven’t had any talks or contact with the Bucks about my contract situation. I’m still happy and I still want to be there. I’ll let it play out. It’s not something that stressing me out right now,” he said during a break at his basketball camp he was conducting at his high school alma mater, Porter Gaud School.
The 6-foot-8 forward saw career-highs last year where he played in all 82 games, averaging 20.1 points – second after Giannis Antetokounmpo – and 5.2 rebounds to go with an efficient 35.9% in 3-point shooting.
Last April, he was among the 35 players named to be on the 2018-20 USA men’s national team roster.
According to numerous reports, the Bucks are looking to offer a 4-year, $70 million contract extension to Middleton.
Back in July 2015, he signed a 5-year $70 million contract, which now looks like a good deal considering the near-All Star performance he had during the 2017-2018 season.
For Middleton, though, it is all about progressing his game further.
“My goal is just to get better. Find a way to improve in all areas of my game. This year was another step in the right direction. I had a great year, especially coming off from the injury that I had most of the (2016-17) season,” he said.
“Individually, I had a great season but we came short when we lost to the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs. It’s just another learning experience and make sure I come back stronger.”
Although not giving himself much thought, the thing that gets Middleton excited is the free agency rumor mill involving LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
“It’s just interesting to see what those guys do. There’s a lot of money for some of those guys for next year. The LA (Lakers) is the melting pot you keep hearing about. So, it’s going to be interesting what they do.”
“As a fan, it’s cool to see those guys in one team. And as a player, let’s keep those guys in a different conference. If they all go to the West Coast and I’m in the East Coast, I’m happy with it,” he added.
“Ultimately, we could see those guys in the finals if they end up joining the same team. It’s fun. That’s what the NBA is all about. The players have to power to make their own moves. It makes things more interesting.” – Rappler.com