30 NBA players that got better after leaving their first team

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Khris Middleton
Khris Middleton (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images) /

30 NBA players who got better after leaving their first team: 6. Khris Middleton

Detroit Pistons fans are still ruing the day the organization gave up on Khris Middleton. Drafted in the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft, Middleton spent most of his season in the G-League. He would play 27 games with the actual Pistons and averaged just 6.1 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game. During the offseason, the Pistons traded for Brandon Jennings and sent Middleton and Brandon Knight to the Milwaukee Bucks.

In his first year with the Bucks, he immediately doubled his averages and showed flashes of what would be an elite pairing with Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was also drafted that summer. They were far from what they are today but the seeds were sown for a future title contender with that trade.

He slowly progressed as the team was growing before finally earning the accolades he deserved, coinciding with the Bucks climb to the top of the regular-season standings. He has made two All-Star appearances and in each of those seasons, the Bucks turned into true title contenders.

Last season he averaged an impressive 20.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists. He finished second in defensive rating for players playing at least 28 minutes per game, paling only in comparison to Antetokoumpo, the Defensive Player of the Year. He did all of this with shooting splits of .497/.415/.916. This season has been more of the same for Middleton as he continues to build his resume. The more he dominates and the Bucks win, the more the Pistons will regret their mistake.