MILWAUKEE, WI – Thanks to scoring 29 points and grabbing seven rebounds in the Milwaukee Bucks 123-119 Game 5 win over the Phoenix Suns, Khris Middleton is making—and solidifying his case for NBA Finals MVP.
Middleton, selected 39th overall in the 2012 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons out of Texas A&M, had payed big dividends since being acquired by the Bucks–along with Brandon Knight and Viacheslav Kravtsov for Brandon Jennings. Not normally seen by many as a superstar or bona-fide star player, Middleton had steadily proved his worth in averaging 25.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, 5.4 assists, shooting 43.6 percent from the field, 35.2 percent from three-point range in 42.8 minutes during the Finals.
With the Bucks one win away from their first NBA title since 1971—and the franchise’s second—Middleton has played at a near-elite level that has only bolstered his personal brand, his game and provide leverage for a potential supermax deal down the road, as he is currently in the first year of a five-year $177.5 million deal with the Bucks through the 2023-24 season.
With a player option set to be due in 2023, and free agency in 2024 when he will turn 33, Middleton winning the NBA Finals MVP will allow him to cash in, while still in his prime. Hopefully, for the sake of the Bucks, Middleton will decide to remain in Cream City—and a part of a potential dynasty in the making.