Bucks' Khris Middleton: I deeply want Giannis Antetokounmpo to return to Milwaukee

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Bucks' Khris Middleton: I deeply want Giannis Antetokounmpo to return to Milwaukee

Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton has made it publicly clear that he would like Giannis Antetokounmpo to sign a contract extension with Milwaukee as at this point he considered the reigning NBA MVP "more than a friend."

Middleton, who was selected at No. 39 in the 2012 NBA draft by the Bucks, has spent his entire career playing alongside Antetokounmpo, who was picked at No. 15 in the 2013 NBA draft. The Bucks, who entered last season as one of the top favorites to win the title, finished their season on a disappointing way as they picked up a surprise loss to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

"I have a lot of respect for Giannis. In my situation last year, he told me how he felt, and that's all I can do in return," Middleton said, per ESPN. "I think we're more than friends at this point. We've spent eight years together.

We've been through a lot together also, so, at the end of the day, I want him to do what's best for him and his family.

Middleton will respect whatever Antetokounmpo decides

"He knows that I deeply want him to return and sign this extension, but at the same time, I know he's got a big decision that he's got to work through himself and with his family at home because those are the most important people," he continued.

"Whatever he does, he knows that I'll support him to the fullest, so I've talked to him. I give him my two cents and my opinion or try to convince him, but at the end of the day, I'm going to always love him and appreciate whatever he has to do."

Back-to-back NBA MVP Antetokounmpo was offered a five-year, $228 million supermax extension by the Bucks and he has until 21 December to sign the superman extension. Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer is optimistic that Antetokounmpo will sign an extension as he claims he has had some positive talks with the Greek.

"The conversations with Giannis have been great this summer. He's incredibly supportive of us and everything we're trying to do to make this team the best it can be, and the same for us to support him," Budenholzer said.

"It's a big decision. I think the communication between he and I has been really good, really productive, fruitful. Same with [general manager] Jon [Horst], so we feel really good about the communication with Giannis throughout the summer and offseason."