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Chris Middleton turned down a $40 million player option with the Bucks

Chris Middleton turned down a $40 million player option with the Bucks

ESPNJune 22, 2023 at 12:15 a.m. ET1 minute to read

Three-time All-Star forward Chris Middleton has turned down his $40 million option for a player with the Milwaukee Bucks to become a free agent, agents Mike Lindemann and Jeff Schwartz tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

It is still possible to return to US dollars in a new deal.

Injuries have plagued Middleton since the 2022 playoffs, when he missed Milwaukee’s last 10 playoff games with an MCL sprain. He underwent surgery on his left wrist during the offseason last year, sidelining him for the first 20 games of the 2022-23 season.

He returned on December 2, 2022, and played six of seven games before losing 18 in a row with right knee soreness.

Middleton, who turns 32 in August, underwent successful surgery on his right knee shortly after Milwaukee was knocked out of the innings playoff to address the lingering problem. He averaged 24 points and 6.2 assists in the playoff series, a five-game loss to the Miami Heat.

Middleton worked with the Bucks for 10 seasons, going from a player role to a three-time All-Star and one of the faces of the franchise alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo. He had several playoff performances in 2021 en route to the team’s first NBA championship in 50 years.

Information from ESPN’s Jamaal Collier is included in this report.

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