Shake Milton’s contract gives Timberwolves flexibility

Shake Milton, Minnesota Timberwolves Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Shake Milton, Minnesota Timberwolves Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

We have already seen the Minnesota Timberwolves make several big moves to upgrade their roster in free agency. After re-upping Nickeil Alexander-Walker, the front office went out and signed Shake Milton and Troy Brown to help fill out the bench for next season.

Initially, the move to acquire Milton from the 76ers looked like a signing that would signal Jaylen Nowell’s departure from Minnesota. Now, it appears more likely that the Timberwolves might try to keep Nowell in town at a cheaper price, giving them even greater depth in the backcourt.

Recently, a new caveat to Shake Milton’s deal with Minnesota was revealed. Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reported that only the first year of Milton’s two-year, $10 million contract will be guaranteed. The Timberwolves will only be required to pay him $5 million for the upcoming season on this contract.

Shake Milton’s contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves is only guaranteed for one year.

What was already a team-friendly contract just improved a little bit more. The Timberwolves will be able to evaluate Milton’s performance over the course of the 2023-24 season and determine from there if they want to guarantee the second year of his contract as well.

If Milton can bring those solid minutes as a scorer and distributor off the bench that Minnesota is hoping for, they will likely be happy to bring him back and pay him the additional salary for his second year. Depending on how he performs, that $5 million could eventually look like a bargain.

The Timberwolves will now have both Jaylen Nowell and Shake Milton heading into “prove it” years. They will essentially be competing for the same roster spot going forward. If Milton really shows out in his first year with the club and Nowell struggles again (or vice versa), it could be all the convincing the front office needs.

On the flip side, if both players see stellar seasons in 2023-24, it will give Minnesota an opportunity to keep one while flipping the other for assets. In any scenario, the Timberwolves have an excellent situation on their hands.

Next. 10 Worst free agent signings in Timberwolves history. dark