All-Star forward Khris Middleton agreed to remain with the Milwaukee Bucks after free agency began Sunday night, landing a reported five-year, $178 million deal.
That was the first of several major moves for the Bucks, who also agreed to new contracts with center Brook Lopez (four years, $52 million, per multiple reports) and guard George Hill (three years, $29 million, according to The Athletic) while sending guard Malcolm Brogdon to the Indiana Pacers in a sign-and-trade deal.
The team confirmed via press releases that it intends to sign Middleton and Lopez once the moratorium on contracts officially ends on July 6.
Middleton, who turns 28 next month, is a key cog for a team that had the NBA's best record and reached the Eastern Conference finals before falling to the Toronto Raptors.
He explained his decision in a first-person account published by ESPN.
"We have unfinished business here in Milwaukee," Middleton said. "This season was a stepping-stone for me personally and for us as a group. I achieved so many firsts on and off the court: I earned my first All-Star appearance; we made the Eastern Conference finals; I became a father.
"But I am not done. We are not done. The goal wasn't to reach the Eastern Conference finals — we are on a mission to win a championship. I want to be a part of that mission, which is why I am staying here in Milwaukee for the next five years."
Middleton averaged 18.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists this past season. He averaged a career-best 20.1 points the previous season.
Middleton, who declined a $13 million option to become a free agent, said he wants to win an NBA title with teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo, who won MVP honors in the 2018-19 season.
"It means a little more to me to work to win a championship with this group in this city because I was there for those darker days," Middleton said. "Giannis and I have been through it all together. We have been at the very bottom and close to the top. When you rebuild a franchise brick by brick like that, it means a little bit more because you have literally put your blood, sweat and tears into improving. We have been called the worst team. I have been called the worst player in the league.
"I know now that I am a part of something special. It is not every day that a team wins 60 games. Some players will never get to say they accomplished that.
"I grew up with this franchise. As the years have gone on, I have seen more and more people show up at our games. The fans have been crazy these last few years. I look forward to raising my little girl in this city because I love it here. I don't feel like I'm done with my community work either. It makes me so happy to work with our teachers and do movie nights with The Boys & Girls Clubs.
"Giannis and I want to win a championship together some day. We've both already gotten back in the gym this summer and are determined to make next season special. This team is on a mission to win it all for our city."
Lopez, 31, averaged 12.5 points and 4.9 rebounds for Milwaukee last season while shooting 36.5 percent from 3-point range.
Hill, 33, averaged 6.8 points and 2.1 assists in 47 games with the Bucks after arriving via trade from Cleveland. He was waived by the Bucks earlier this week to avoid his contract guaranteeing, but Milwaukee always reportedly was interested in bringing him back at a lower figure.
Brogdon, the 2016-17 Rookie of the Year, was a restricted free agent who was expected to draw big offers elsewhere. He reportedly was traded to the Pacers in exchange for a first-round pick and two second-rounders, agreeing to a four-year, $85 million deal in the process.