Free agent flop: Khris Middleton
The Spurs had significant cap space, and some supporters wanted them to be all-in after drafting the generational talent. Three-time All-Star Khris Middleton was available and in the Spurs price range after he signed a three-year $93 million contract with the Bucks. Milwaukee had to bring back Brook Lopez and Middleton plus add Damian Lillard to keep Giannis Antetokounmpo happy in Cream City.
It has been a slow start to the year for Middleton. He averages just 19.8 minutes and has only played in 13 of the team’s first 16 games. The 6’7 wing had knee surgery after the Bucks were shockingly bounced in the first round of the playoffs last season, and the team is slowly ramping him up. He played a season-high 28.5 minutes against the Celtics on Nov. 22 but has been in the 20-minute range for the rest of the year.
Middleton is producing well in his limited playing time, but will he stay healthy and be impactful in the playoffs? Right now, no team is envying the Bucks signing. The three-time All-Star is not playing enough to justify earning $30-plus million per year. Middleton should get more run and improve down the stretch, but he must do it.
The San Antonio Spurs chose not to improve their roster in free agency this summer, which has led to plenty of problems on the floor. They were comfortable being back in the lottery and building slowly around Victor Wembanyama. Still, there is likely a bit of regret that they were not more aggressive in adding talent.