Bucks forward Middleton opts out, will become free agent

All-Star averaged 18.3 ppg this season

Bucks forward Khris Middleton opted out of his contract and will become an unrestricted free agent on June 30th. He declined a one-year, $13 million option.

The Bucks can offer him a five-year deal for up to $190 million. If he signs with another team, Middleton is eligible for four years and $141 million.

The 27-year-old averaged 18.3 points per game in route to his first career All-Star game appearance. He also averaged career-highs in rebounds (6.0) and assists (4.3).

Bucks management has made no secret that they want to keep Middleton in Milwaukee.

“At the end of the day I think players want to win, and I think they want to be paid fairly. That’s our job. That’s my job. To figure out what fair is,” Horst said at Wednesday’s pre-draft news conference. “I think Khris wants to be paid fairly, and I think Khris wants to win at the highest level. I think he fully believes that he can do that here in Milwaukee.”

Horst said he’ll begin negotiations with Middleton “at the appropriate time.”

Drafted in the second round by the Pistons in 2012, the Bucks acquired Middleton in a trade before the 2013 season. He’s averaged 16.3 points and hit 39% of his three-pointers in a Milwaukee uniform.

Milwaukee holds the 30th overall pick in Thursday’s draft. At this point they don’t have any second round picks.