II: Shake Milton
There are so many ways that newly arrived guard Shake Milton can help the team, I hope that his production can keep pace with the expectations. Unlike other NBA players who suddenly find themselves as free agents, Milton did not enter the 2023 NBA Free Agency Market because he did not deliver for the Philadelphia 76ers. Rather, he played in a position of depth, and the Sixers needed both cap space and roster room to strengthen other positions.
Which allowed the Timberwolves to add a solid backcourt contributor at a team-friendly price.
Shake Milton is not an obvious NBA point guard, but he could be. After all, the 6-foot-5 205-pound backup guard played in 254 games for the Philadelphia 76ers and started 45 of those games. At the age of 26 years old, he is entering his prime NBA playing time, so if he is going to ascend in his performance, now is the time for him to make that move. That is exactly what the Timberwolves hope happens this year.
What role suits him best?
The versatility of Shake Milton to fill the role of a backup point guard as well as a backup 3-and-D role is an ideal combination for the Timberwolves’ roster needs this season. After all, his versatility allows him to show up in a shooting guard role and play alongside veteran point guard Mike Conley Jr. to allow Anthony Edwards to rest, and he can slide into a point guard role to sit Conley and play alongside Anthony Edwards. Or the team can sit both Conley and Edwards and rotate Milton with Nickeil Alexander-Walker to give the Timberwolves multiple options.
Milton has the ability to score points, defend opponents, and spark a team coming in off the bench. While he is not a primary facilitator, he has the potential to enhance his ability to distribute the basketball to the open shooter. His experience with 76ers center Joel Embiid will ease the transition of playing with Rudy Gober and Karl-Anthony Towns this season.
He has shown growth and development each season. Perhaps his biggest challenge is the fact that he was expected to fill whatever roles were not primarily addressed by the Sixers’ starting lineup. With the Minnesota Timberwolves, his role will likely be more clearly defined. With a change of scenery and a chance to carve out a larger role, Milton could be a steal this season.