4 Bucks Playing Their Final Postseason in Milwaukee

The Milwaukee Bucks are heading into crucial playoffs. It might be the last postseason in Milwaukee for a few veterans.
Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
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The Milwaukee Bucks are entering a crucial postseason. The 2023-24 campaign that started as championship-or-bust has been largely disappointing. Despite the addition of fellow All-Star Damian Lillard next to Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee has been a mess most of the season, forcing the front office to move on from the first-time head coach Adrian Griffin in favor of Doc Rivers.

This didn't really solve much as the Bucks are stumbling into the playoffs as clear underdogs behind the Celtics in the Eastern Conference and a hobbled Giannis Antetokounmpo. Never underestimate the heart of a champion but Milwaukee has an uphill battle this postseason.

If the Bucks fail to win the title this season, it will also signal the end of an era for a few veterans. Milwaukee will likely move on from some key players to try to build a different roster around its two superstars. Let's take a look at the least likely Bucks to return next year.

1. Khris Middleton

Middleton has been a key figure for this franchise for over a decade. He has been in Milwaukee through thick and thin, building a juggernaut and creating an incredible partnership with Giannis Antetokounmpo over the years. It would be difficult to see him go but the Bucks need to plan a future without Khris Middleton.

Unfortunately, the 32-year-old forward isn't the player he once was. He struggles to stay healthy for long stretches, missing over 70 games in total in the last two seasons. He is averaging 15 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game in 26.9 minutes. He is still a valuable fourth-quarter performer and plays an important part in the Bucks offense with his ability to create his own shots and effectiveness in the mid-range.

But, he will make $31.6 million next season and has a player option for $34 million for the year after. It is difficult to see him get his performance to the level that the contract requires.

Milwaukee already owes Damian Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo a combined $97 million next season and Brook Lopez $23 million. That basically takes up their entire cap space once the roster is filled out with role players. That makes Middleton an expensive luxury that costs the owners a lot of money. Unless the Bucks win the title this season or make the NBA Finals, they will likely move on from him for financial purposes and bring in cheaper options around Giannis and Dame.