FILE PHOTO: May 21, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton (22) drives to the net past Toronto Raptors guard Norman Powell (24) during game four of the Eastern conference finals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena. Toronto defeated Milwaukee. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Milwaukee Bucks All-Star guard Khris Middleton opted out of the final year of his contract and will officially become an unrestricted free agent.
Middleton passes on a one-year, $13 million deal for 2019-2020, but he and the Bucks are still discussing a new five-year contract to keep him in Milwaukee, ESPN reported Wednesday.
Middleton can sign a max value contract for five years with Milwaukee. Other teams can offer a four-year deal starting June 30.
A max contract worth more than $30 million per season could hamstring the Bucks against the cap and push Milwaukee into the luxury tax one year before Giannis Antetokounmpo can be offered a max extension.
The Bucks have a $19.5 million cap hold on Middleton that could help them retain their second-leading scorer from last season. However, multiple key role players, including Brook Lopez, Malcolm Brogdon and Nikola Mirotic, are also eligible for free agency.
Middleton, 27, had a career year averaging 18.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game, the latter two marks setting career highs. He shot 37.8 percent from 3-point range on a career-high 6.2 attempts per game.
—Field Level Media