NBA Rumors: Western Conference Team To Pursue Khris Middleton This Summer

The Milwaukee Bucks had a disastrous flame-out in the 2023 NBA Playoffs. The team that was the No. 1 seed in the East, and the favorite to win it all, crashed-and-burned in five games to the Miami Heat. Yes, Giannis Antetokounmpo missed 2½ of those five games, but the Bucks have a team that's survived The Greek Freak's absence before. 

Now, changes are on the horizon. The head coach might not be safe, Jae Crowder is already questioning his role, and 3-time All-Star Khris Middleton could opt out of the final year of his contract to become a free agent. 

Turning 32 this summer, and after plenty of injury troubles this past year, this could be Middleton's last chance to cash in with a big multi-year deal. Granted, the $40M he'd be opting out of is nothing to sneeze at, but if he is ready to test the market, one Western Conference team with a TON of cap room has Middleton on its radar. 

According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, the Houston Rockets, who are looking to supplement their super-young roster with some established veteran stars, are considering an early Khris-mas this summer. 

The Rockets’ chances at landing... primary free agents and top-billing trade targets this offseason were repeated themes throughout Houston’s conversations with coaching candidates, sources said. Middleton has been a... potential target discussed throughout the Rockets’ coaching search, sources said.

The Rockets just hired Ime Udoka as head coach, and it's unlikely he took the job without some assurances that they'd do everything they could to land a big fish this offseason... some proven all-star talent. The team has about $60M in cap space, and that's more than enough to land an elite player (or two). 

James Harden, as we've been hearing for months, is the other big name the Rockets have on their radar. 

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