Khris Middleton, SG/SF, Milwaukee Bucks
Points Per Game: 18.3
Assists Per Game: 4.3
Rebounds Per Game: 6.0
Shooting Percentages: 44/38/84%
Advanced Stat: Assisted on 60% of 3 point field goals
The second and last Buck in this article, Middleton has been an excellent complementary scorer for the Greek Freak. His ability to consistently shoot from 3 while playing excellent defense has turned him into a premier 3-and-D threat.
Is Middleton as efficient as Brogdon? No. Does he play more games and play more minutes? Yes.
Middleton finally made his first All-Star appearance this year in an improving Eastern Conference. (It’s weird he made it this year since last year he was better in almost every statistical category)
Middleton’s All-Star level of play has been important for the Bucks as they have tried to build a team of shooters around Giannis. Middleton was “the guy” after Giannis for many years and he has developed nicely in his role the last three seasons. What this means is he will inevitably earn a max contract this summer.
Is Middleton worthy of a max contract? Yes. He’s the second option on a championship caliber team and is a fantastic locker room presence, something the Mavs are paying attention to as they build out this roster. Also he’s just entered his athletic prime after 6 seasons in the NBA.
Here’s why the Mavs should consider not signing Middleton… Justin Jackson is currently on the roster. It is definitely crazy to not pursue an All-Star for a second year vet who is still largely unproven, but hear me out.
Middleton is not a ball dominant player. Jackson is not a ball dominant player. Middleton is a 3 and D player. Jackson is a 3 and D guy. Middleton is predominantly a wing player. Jackson is predominantly a wing player. Middleton is a tall and long guy. Jackson is a tall and long guy. The physical comparisons between the two. The obvious difference between the two are their stats.
Middleton is currently in his 7th season with the averages above. Jackson is in his second and just got traded to a team in need of some consistent wing play. If you look at Middleton’s second season versus Jackson’s second season, Jackson’s second season, especially with the Mavs, the stat lines are rather similar.
Here are Middleton’s Per 36 minute averages with Jackson’s Per 36 minute averages with the Mavs:
Shooting Percentages: 44-41-86/48-37-72
That season Middleton was starting almost every game he played in whereas Jackson played 18 minutes per game with the Mavs. If the development of Jackson goes as planned the Mavs have a Middleton-like player that can grow with this young nucleus and play with them for a longer time.
Is Middleton better? Absolutely, especially considering the type of experience Middleton has with the Bucks. However, does it make sense to spend so much money at a position where you already have an emerging talent?
Signing Middleton would mean the Mavs are making a serious push in the playoffs with the hopes they could get past the first round. However, Middleton himself wouldn’t be able to make this team any better. This team is in need of better depth to make that type of playoff push.
Justin Jackson is a good player who is still developing. If the Mavs are looking to spend on a free agent, it may not be wise to spend it on a player who does the exact same thing. I believe the term is called progress stopping?