The Milwaukee Bucks reportedly intend on matching any offer that restricted free agent Khris Middleton receives this off-season as they see him as a core piece on their roster.
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Middleton continued his progression and development last season as he averaged 13.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists for the Bucks who made a run to the playoffs.
While that post-season adventure ended in the first round against the Chicago Bulls, they proved that they are an exciting young team that will be a real threat in the Eastern Conference moving forward.
As a result, coach Jason Kidd will likely be keen on keeping his core together in the coming years, and that includes Middleton who is set to become a restricted free agent next month.
“As far as Khris Middleton is concerned, sources say the Bucks will issue the required qualifying and have every intention of matching any offer sheet Middleton may receive from other teams. The Bucks view Middleton as a core piece to their success last season and will meet whatever price is necessary to keep him in Milwaukee,” Basketball Insiders report.
This will be seen as a strategy from the Bucks to put off any interested teams and convince them that they would be wasting their time in pursuing Middleton, as ultimately if those teams believe they don’t have a legitimate shot at landing him then they will avoid it.
With restricted free agency, the interested team will tender an offer sheet while the team with the player’s right will have three days to decide whether or not to match. With cap space tied up in that player until a decision is made, it can leave teams in a difficult position in a busy time of the year and they risk missing out on other targets.
Milwaukee are seemingly playing the game here, and so it remains to be seen if any of their rivals genuinely believe that they can prise Middleton away.