To say that NBA free agency opened with a bang would be a complete understatement at this point. The Milwaukee Bucks played their part in the whirlwind of activity that went down as soon as NBA free agency officially opened at 7 p.m. ET. This came in the form of a highly-anticipated extension for Khris Middleton. The former All-Star agreed to a three-year deal with Milwaukee worth a whopping $102 million.
As it turns out, Middleton’s huge payday just accounted for 10% of the total money spent in the first hour alone. Yes, you read that right. The league did commit a massive $1.02 billion at the onset of NBA free agency. Sounds crazy, right? Well, that’s because it is.
Khris Middleton Gets The Bag
After a lot of talk surrounding Middleton potentially jumping ship, the Bucks put their money where their mouth was by locking up the three-time All-Star to a big-money extension. Khris actually lost a significant amount of money considering how he turned down his $40.4 million player option for 2023-24 in exchange for a longer-term deal that will see him pocket roughly $34 million per season.
After a disappointing season that was characterized by multiple injuries, Middleton wanted to secure his future with the Bucks, even if that meant taking on less money in the short term. Khris is going to be 32 in August and he will be almost 35 when his new deal expires in 2026. You can’t say that it wasn’t a sound decision by the former Texas A&M standout.
NBA Spends A Combined $1.02 Billion In First Hour Of Free Agency
Middleton was far from the only big winner in the first hour of NBA free agency. It was the Golden State Warriors who struck first, agreeing to a $100 million deal with Draymond Green for four years. Clearly, all the drama surrounding the former Defensive Player of the Year’s potential exit was just noise. The Washington Wizards quickly followed suit with a four-year $102 million extension for Kyle Kuzma.
The big winner of the first hour (and free agency in general, thus far), however, was Jerami Grant, who bagged a whopping $160 million contract with the Portland Trail Blazers for five years. Kristaps Porzingis penned a two-year, $60 million with his new team, the Boston Celtics, while Kyrie Irving ended all the exit rumors by putting pen to paper on a three-year, $126 million deal with the Dallas Mavericks.
With just 15 minutes left in the first hour of NBA free agency, the Toronto Raptors (Jakob Poeltl – $80 million for four years), the Brooklyn Nets (Cam Johnson – $108 million for four years), and the Bucks also decided to join in on the action.
Combined, the NBA committed over a billion dollars in contracts over the first 60 minutes of NBA free agency. What’s wild is that this is all far from over.
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