Bucks Lead

Khris Middleton is Everything Milwaukee Needs

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Every NBA player comes into the league with the same few goals in mind. Sure, making the money that comes with being a professional athlete certainly is not a bad thing. However, many have the goal to win an MVP, a championship or, potentially, access into the hallowed halls of the Hall of Fame. Simply put, to be one of the greatest to ever play the game is a goal for many.

Now, these Milwaukee Bucks are likely not going to join that elite company after their careers come to a close (save for one international exception), but they are putting together one heck of a season in 2019-20. So, just how great has their sidekick, in particular, been? Let us take a look.

Khris Middleton: How Great Has He Been?

Coming into this season, Khris Middleton had major expectations on his shoulders after signing a contract that carries over $30 million attached to him every year for the next few seasons. As such, criticism for him has been quite fierce at times on social media. However, those same people may be surprised as to how good K-Midd has been. To start, let’s play a little game.

  • Player A: 24.5 Points/36M, 7.9 Rebounds, 3.5 Assists, 0.9 Steals, 1.0 Blocks, .458/.368/.795, 18.5 PER
  • Player B: 25.2 Points/36M, 7.3 Rebounds, 4.9 Assists, 1.2 Steals, 0.2 Blocks, .503/.432/.900, 21.5 PER
  • Player C: 20.9 Points/36M, 7.1 Rebounds, 6.6 Assists, 1.9 Steals, 0.6 Blocks, .441/.245/.835, 23.7 PER

Who would you guess these three players are? Maybe Paul George? Brandon Ingram? Nope.

 

  • Player A: Pascal Siakam, an Eastern Conference All-Star starter in the frontcourt.
  • Player C: Jimmy Butler, the highest-voted non-starter in the frontcourt in the East.
  • Player B: Khris Middleton, who finished tied for 10th in weighted vote score in the Eastern Conference front-court race with none other than Tacko Fall.

Yeah, exactly.

Now, don’t get me wrong, both of those other guys are having great seasons themselves, but by essentially every measure, Khris Middleton has been better than both, and arguably deserves to be in the conversation for a starting spot in Chicago. We will, however, come to terms with the fact he will not be and just enjoy the season that has come thus far.

Let’s play one more game first, though.

Khris Middleton’s salary of $30,603,448 (according to Basketball Reference) places him at 19th on the highest paid player list. You know how many have a higher PER than Middleton’s 22.5? Six, and they are some pretty big names (Harden, LeBron, Kemba, Kawhi, Butler, Kyrie). So, his contract doesn’t look quite so terrible now, does it?

That’s comparing apples and oranges, though. How does Middleton’s 2019-20 stack up to his 2018-19 All-Star campaign of last year? Well, much better all-around (all stats per 36 minutes).

  • Points: 25.2>21.2
  • Rebounds: 7.3>6.9
  • Assists: 4.9<5.0
  • Steals: 1.3>1.2
  • FG%: .503>.441
  • 3PT%: .432>.378
  • 2PT%: .544>.485
  • FT%: .900>.837

Advanced? Even better.

  • PER: 22.1>16.5
  • True Shooting %: .624>.558
  • Win Shares/48 minutes: .224>.123

So yes, Bucks Twitter, Khris Middleton is going to be an all-star and Khris Middleton should be an all-star. Even more, Khris Middleton is worth the money because he has been that darn good this year. The cherry on top? Last night’s unprecedented performance.

51 points– a new career-high in a Bucks win sans Giannis.

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