MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks have lost 10 of their last 11 games but will get a morale boost on Wednesday night with the return of Khris Middleton, who’s been recovering from a ruptured hamstring suffered in the preseason.
During the broadcast of Friday night’s 121-117 loss to the Denver Nuggets, Middleton told Fox Sports Wisconsin he’d been medically cleared to return to game action, having missed the first 50 games of the season. It was reported on Jan. 6 that Middleton could return prior to the All-Star break, initially thought to be an injury that would keep him out the entire season.
“It’s possible,” Middleton said last month in regard to a possible February return. “That’s if everything goes right, with no setbacks and a good, long stretch of practices. Still a long way to go but I’m working towards it.”
The fifth-year forward averaged 18.2 points, 4.2 assists and 3.8 rebounds last year. His return could not only provide another consistent scorer alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker, but it could help Milwaukee claw its way back into the playoff picture, currently 2.5 games and three spots back from the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference.
It’s unclear exactly how much Middleton would play in his season debut. He’ll make his return Feb. 8 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee when they host the Miami Heat at 7 p.m.
MILWAUKEE — Free agent guard Dwyane Wade recently cancelled a meeting with the Milwaukee Bucks scheduled for Wednesday, but reports now indicate Wade will meet with the Bucks in New York Wednesday afternoon.
The Bucks likely won’t be able to match offers from other teams, with Wade looking for a $50 million contract. The Chicago Bulls have come the closest to meeting Wade’s demands, offering a two-year contract with a partial guarantee. None of the teams reportedly still in the chase (Chicago, Denver, Miami) have offered a three-year deal, although the Nuggets have been able to surpass the $50 million threshold.
Former Bucks sharpshooter and former Wade teammate with the Heat, Ray Allen, has reached out to the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers about an NBA return. He last played in the 2013-14 season where he averaged 9.6 points per game.
UPDATE: Zach Lowe of ESPN reports that Dwyane Wade has cancelled his meeting with the Milwaukee Bucks, citing unnamed sources. He’s also cancelled meetings with some other teams during this free agency period.
Rumors had also been circulating that LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers were hoping to meet with Wade.
MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks will reportedly meet with veteran free agent Dwyane Wade on Wednesday to discuss a potential return to the city he called home during his college days at Marquette.
The Miami Heat have offered Wade a two-year, $40 million contract after the Golden State Warriors signed one of Miami’s main targets, Kevin Durant. Many analysts believe the Bucks can sway Wade to come to Milwaukee by offering a third year on their contract offer, but they wouldn’t be able to match Miami’s dollar offer because of Greg Monroe’s contract. NBA writer Frank Madden believes Milwaukee’s odds at landing Wade hinge mainly on moving Monroe and his $17 million.
It’s still possible Milwaukee gets some shooting help, after reports surfaced that the Cleveland Cavaliers likely won’t match the Bucks’ four-year, $38 million offer sheet for Matthew Dellavedova. The deadline for the moratorium period is 11:01 p.m. CT on Wednesday.