There it is. After much speculation about if or why Minnesota Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly cut Taurean Prince just to re-sign Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Troy Brown Jr., the final shoe dropped as first broken by Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic and further detailed by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Milton agreed to a two-year, $10 million contract with Timberwolves, per source. https://t.co/H6t05UqO8Y— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2023
Shake Milton, for those of you unfamiliar with him, was drafted 54th in the 2018 NBA draft and spent his first five seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers after a strong three-year stint at Southern Methodist University (SMU). The soon-to-be 27-year-old guard was a rotation piece for the Sixers who Brett Brown and Doc Rivers deployed to varying amounts depending on the flow of the game. Milton is very much a shot creator and can be categorized as a three-level scorer. He can bulldoze his way to the rim and finish using his strength and 6’5”, 7-foot wingspan frame. A strong ball-handler, he is extremely comfortable bringing the ball up and initiating action or finishing with a smooth pull-up game. He boasts career per game averages of 9.3 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.2 blocks, and 1.2 turnovers on .455/.365/.828 splits in 20.8 minutes.
The beauty in Shake’s game can be summarized in games where he stepped up as a starter, when injuries sidelined Ben Simmons and James Harden. Of his 254 career games, he started 45 of them and posted averages of 15.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 4.7 assists on .614 TS% with the same usage as when he was off the bench. In 11 starts last season, those basic numbers bumped even further up to 20.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 7.2 assists on .618 FS%. Take a look at his numbers when he is given more minutes.
Now will Milton get upwards of 20+ minutes a night? Likely not right out of the gate. However, he can very much fill the Jaylen Nowell (19.3 mpg) role as the energizing bench scorer while also soaking up some of Taurean Prince’s minutes (22.1) as a floor spacer. Though he did shoot 37.8% from perimeter last year, it was on very limited volume (1.9 3PA) and he struggled from the corner (31.6%). His defensive numbers leave quite a bit to be desired as well. Out of players who played at least 40 games last season for the Sixers, Milton finished 12th out of 13 in Defensive Rating (117) and 10th in Defensive Box Plus/Minus (-0.9). That said, those numbers are similar to what Prince and Nowell finished with last season.
The juiciest part is the price tag he comes at. At two years, $10 million, it’s an extremely affordable price for someone younger and more offensively dynamic than say the recently released Prince ($4.5M). The best part? It comes with a second-year team option, allowing Connelly and Chris Finch to get a one-year look at the swingman.
Shake Milton's agreement with the Wolves is a 2-year deal with a team option for the 2nd year.— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) June 30, 2023
So this is what I have: