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 of the 2012 NBA draft.
Early life and high school
Middleton was born on August 12, 1991 in Charleston, South Carolina to James and Nichelle Middleton. He has one older sister named Brittney, and his cousin, Josh Powell, has played in the NBA. Another cousin, Kenny Manigault, plays basketball for Wichita State University and was teammates with Middleton on the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) team Carolina Celtics. Two other teammates on the Carolina Celtics accepted Division I basketball scholarships, Jamal Curry (Radford) and Devin Booker (Clemson).
Middleton attended Porter-Gaud School and played basketball for the Cyclones under coach John Pearson. As a sophomore, he averaged 12 points and eight rebounds per game. In his junior season, Middleton posted averages of 21 points and 8.6 rebounds per game and was named state player of the year. He repeated as player of the year as a senior, scoring 22.4 points per game and grabbing 8.6 rebounds per game in leading Porter-Gaud to the state title game. Middleton was named Most Valuable Player of the Porter-Gaud Holiday Classic, scoring 22 points in the championship. He was nominated for the 2009 McDonald's All-American Boys Game, but was not selected to participate.
ESPN ranked him the 64th best prospect in the Class of 2009, and noted he was the best shooter at his position. Middleton was recruited by Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, South Carolina, Michigan, and Saint Joseph's. He chose Texas A&M, and signed with the Aggies on May 30, 2008. He liked the college town atmosphere, and got along well with the coaching staff.
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||Commit date|
|Charleston, South Carolina||Porter-Gaud School||6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)||217 lb (98 kg)||May 30, 2008|
|Recruiting star ratings: Scout: Rivals: 247Sports: N/A ESPN grade: 91|
|Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 30 (SF) Rivals: 29 (SF)|
Coming into his freshman year, Middleton expected to fill the three point shooting void of departed senior Josh Carter. Middleton's college career started slowly, connecting on 1-of-12 field goals in limited action of his first three games. After a season-ending leg injury to Derrick Roland on December 11, 2009, Middleton was forced to take a larger role in the offense and started 18 of the last 20 games. On February 3, 2010, he scored 16 points to help Texas A&M erase an 11-point second half deficit to defeat Missouri 77-74. In a 69-53 NCAA Tournament Round of 64 victory over Utah State, Middleton scored a season-high 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Texas A&M's season ended with a loss in the Round of 32 to Purdue; the Aggies finished with a record of 24-10. Overall, Khris Middleton averaged 7.2 points and 3.7 rebounds per game and led the team in scoring five times.
As a sophomore, Middleton led the team and finished ninth in the Big 12 in scoring at 14.3 points per game while also contributing 5.2 rebounds per game. He hit 45 percent of his shots from the floor and 78.4 percent of his free throws. Middleton scored in excess of 10 points in 27 games and led the team in scoring 16 times. He scored a career-high 31 points in a 71-62 overtime victory over Arkansas, including 11 of the team's las 12 points in regulation. This earned him Big 12 Player of the Week and Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week honors for the week of December 13–19, 2010. On January 15, 2011, Middleton tallied 28 points, including 11 in overtime, to defeat Missouri 91-89.
Middleton-led Texas A&M went 24-9 and lost in the NCAA Tournament Round of 64 to Florida State 57-50, in a contest in which Middleton contributed 16 points. He was selected to the All-Big 12 Second Team at the conclusion of the regular season. The U.S. Basketball Writers Association named Middleton to the 10-man All-District VII team covering college basketball players in the states of Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana. He was recognized as an All-Eighth District second-team selection by the National Association of Basketball Coaches making him eligible for the State Farm Division I All‐America teams. Since the Big 12 Conference was its own district, this is equivalent to being named second team All-Big 12 by the NABC.
Prior to Middleton's junior season, head coach Mark Turgeon left to take the same position at the University of Maryland and was replaced by Billy Kennedy of Murray State. Middleton was impressed with Kennedy's coaching acumen and chose to remain an Aggie. He was listed on the preseason watchlist for the Wooden Award. Middleton was a unanimous choice to the preseason All-Big 12 team.
Despite being the preseason co-favorite in the league, Texas A&M finished 14-18 overall and 4-14 in the Big 12. The team was hampered by a rash of injuries, including a knee injury that forced Middleton to sit for 12 games. He averaged 13.2 points and 5.0 rebounds per game, down from the previous season. On April 9, 2012, Middleton declared for the NBA Draft, forgoing his final season of collegiate eligibility. He thanked Texas A&M in a statement.
|2009–10||Texas A&M Aggies||34||22||20.9||.416||.324||.750||3.7||1.1||.9||.3||7.2|
|2010–11||Texas A&M Aggies||33||33||29.6||.450||.361||.784||5.2||2.8||1.2||.1||14.3|
|2011–12||Texas A&M Aggies||20||17||28.8||.415||.260||.750||5.0||2.3||1.0||.3||13.2|
Detroit Pistons (2012–2013)
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.
Milwaukee Bucks (2013–present)
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. He tied his career high of 36 points on April 10, 2016 in a 109–108 overtime win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
On September 21, 2016, Middleton was ruled out for six months after sustaining a left hamstring injury in preseason workouts that required surgery. On February 8, 2017, he made his 2016–17 season debut after missing the first 50 games with the hamstring injury. On a night when teammate Jabari Parker went down with a knee injury, Middleton looked spry in limited action, scoring five points in 15 minutes in a 106–88 loss to the Miami Heat. Seven days later, in his fourth game back, Middleton scored a season-high 20 points in a 129–125 win over the Brooklyn Nets. He topped that mark on March 1, scoring 21 points to go with five rebounds and five assists in a 110–98 loss to the Denver Nuggets. Three days later, he set a new season high with 24 points in a 101–94 win over the Toronto Raptors. On March 17, 2017, he scored 14 of his season-high 30 points in the fourth quarter of the Bucks' 107–103 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
On November 1, 2017, Middleton scored a career-high 43 points in a 126–121 loss to the Charlotte Hornets. On November 22, 2017, he scored 40 points in a 113–107 overtime win over the Phoenix Suns.
Middleton is a Christian.
On July 7, 2015, Middleton penned a column in The Players' Tribune about the 2015 Charleston church shooting. He explained that the shooting affected him deeply because he grew up in Charleston and his grandmother, Juanita Middleton, knew four of the nine people slaughtered. Khris Middleton had personally met one of the victims, Cynthia Hurd, as she dropped her nephew off at a basketball camp not long before the shooting. "In Charleston, we’re staying strong, but the wounds are still deep," he wrote.
NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|