James Khristian “Khris” Middleton (born August 12, 1991) is an American professional basketball player for the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He attended Porter-Gaud School, where he was coached by John Pearson. As a junior and senior, he was named South Carolina Player of the Year, and was a McDonald’s All-American nominee. He went on to play college basketball for Texas A&M University, where he started the majority of the games in his freshman year. In his sophomore season, he earned second-team All-Big 12 honors after leading the Aggies in scoring with 14.3 points per game.
Middleton was selected by the Detroit Pistons with the 39th overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft. On August 15, 2012, he signed his rookie scale contract with the Pistons. On December 12, 2012, he was assigned to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League. A week later, he was recalled by the Pistons. He finished his rookie season having managed just 27 games for the Pistons while averaging 6.1 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 17.6 minutes per game.
On July 31, 2013, Middleton was traded, along with Brandon Knight and Viacheslav Kravtsov, to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for guard Brandon Jennings. In contrast to his limited action in 2012–13, Middleton played all 82 games in 2013–14, while starting 64 and averaging 12.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.0 steals in 30.0 minutes per game. On December 6, 2013, he scored a then career-high 29 points in a 109–105 win over the Washington Wizards.
On December 15, 2014, the Bucks were down by one to the Phoenix Suns with under four seconds remaining in regulation as Middleton hit a contested game-winning buzzer beater to defeat the Suns, 96–94. In just under 29 minutes of action off the bench, he recorded 14 points, 3 assists, 1 rebound and 1 steal. On March 7, 2015, he scored a then career-high 30 points on 11-of-20 shooting in a 91–85 win over the Washington Wizards. In his second season with the Bucks, Middleton emerged as an important “3-and-D” player, shooting 46.7 percent from the floor and 40.7 percent from behind the three-point arc. He averaged 13.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.
On July 9, 2015, Middleton re-signed with the Bucks to a five-year, $70 million contract, with a player option for the fifth year. This constituted a significant pay raise for Middleton, as he earned $915,000 the prior year. On December 29, 2015, in a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, he scored a career-high 36 points on 13-of-22 from the field and 6-of-9 from three-point range. On March 4, 2016, in a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, he scored 32 points on 11-of-16 shooting, including 8-of-9 on three-pointers, marking the most three-pointers made by a Bucks player since Carlos Delfino had eight on March 18, 2011.
Career highlights and awards
Second-team All-Big 12 (2011)