Storyline: Khris Middleton Free Agency

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Bledsoe is one of four Bucks’ starters who figure to be free agents this summer, the others being Khris Middleton, Malcolm Brogdon and Brook Lopez. Like Bledsoe, the aforementioned trio of Bucks are all bound for pay raises. “It might have happened before but I don’t ever recall a team having four starting players hitting the free agent market in one summer,’’ a longtime NBA executive said. “I don’t know how they’re going to handle this; I know they’re struggling with it, too.’’

The Bucks feel Middleton can fill that role and should he opt out to hit free agency, a Bucks official told Yahoo Sports: “We’re gonna do everything we can to keep him.” Half of the league will hit free agency in July, and Middleton will have plenty of suitors if he so chooses. “I feel like over the years we’re building something special here, so I feel like there will be an opportunity for me to be here and win at the same time,” Middleton said. “If I feel like I have a chance to win somewhere else and do better things, I’ll look into that.”

Middleton is not going to thump his chest over any of this speculation. That’s not his way. He’s got five months of season left, plus the playoffs, and after a wistful max-salary interlude, it does not take long for him to get back to speaking in bland platitudes. “I have always been the kind of guy who just takes it one day at a time,” Middleton told Sporting News. “Focus on what needs to be done that day. Don’t think too far ahead. Once you start thinking too far ahead, you get distracted by things that don’t matter on that day. So that doesn’t matter.”
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As a pending free agent himself, however, Green acknowledged that it’s difficult to be definitive about anything else until Leonard decides whether to stay or go. “I don’t know,” Green said, insisting that he has no insider intel on Leonard’s plans even though they played together in San Antonio and became Raptors together when the Spurs dispatched them to Canada via trade on July 18, 2018. “He may not know, but I don’t know, either. I’m probably more confused or more up in the air than he is.”