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#pounditMonday, March 4, 2024

Bucks get very pleasing news in free agency

Giannis Antetokounmpo wearing headphones

May 13, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) shoots during warmups prior to game six of the second round for the 2022 NBA playoffs against the Boston Celtics at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The first (and most pressing) order of free agent business is complete for the Milwaukee Bucks.

All-Star forward Khris Middleton has decided to return to the team on a new three-year, $102 million deal, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports Friday. The news comes after Middleton recently declined his $40.4 million player option for next season.

There may be concern with committing that much money to Middleton, who turns 32 later this summer and appeared in just 33 games last season due to injury. But the Bucks would have been hard-pressed to find the same kind of production in free agency if Middleton had left. Now Middleton is locked in with them for at least a couple more years (with Giannis Antetokounmpo also having two more guaranteed seasons left on his current deal).

That is a big loose end for the Bucks to tie up with first-year head coach Adrian Griffin about to take over at the helm. But their job is not quite finished yet as Milwaukee still has another major free agent to re-sign.

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