The Minnesota Timberwolves came into this offseason looking to build upon what was a promising playoff series against the eventual NBA champion Denver Nuggets. They knew they had their core in place (Edwards, Towns, Gobert, McDaniels) but needed to make moves on the margins in order to establish a strong rotation for not only the regular season but the playoffs as well. After taking care of in-house free agents Naz Reid(3yr/$42million) and Nickeil Alexander-Walker (2yr/$9 million), the Wolves went out and grabbed F Troy Brown Jr(Lakers) and G Shake Milton(76ers) in free agency. Let’s talk about new backup guard Shake Milton and what he brings to the Timberwolves this season as the team looks to make a deep playoff run.
Shake Milton is a 6”5 combo guard drafted out of Southern Methodist University in the 2018 NBA draft. NBA teams were intrigued by his physical traits( 6’5 combo guard, 7’0.75” wingspan) as well as his skillful traits(18 PPG junior year at SMU, 43% 3P shooting). He was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 54th pick in the draft and would spend most of his rookie season in the G-League developing his skills. From 2019-2023, he became a reliable backup guard for the team, known for his shot-creating and playmaking abilities. Milton’s career-high for the 76ers was 39 points in a game against the Los Angeles Lakers back in 2020.
What Shake Milton brings to the Timberwolves
Last season, the Timberwolves’ main backup point guard was Jordan McLaughlin, and the results were disappointing, to say the least. After an early-season injury that kept him out for a few months, McLaughlin never looked the same when he came back, as he averaged only 3.7PPG, 1.4 RPG, and a 30% three-point percentage, along with becoming a liability on defense that left opposing players licking their chops for a chance to get a mismatch with him.
It was clear the Timberwolves needed an upgrade in that department, and that is exactly why they brought in Milton. Just looking at the numbers, it already seems like an upgrade on paper( Milton averaged 8.4 PPG, 2.5RPG, and 3.2 APG on 38% shooting from three in only 20 minutes per game!) Besides the raw numbers, it’s clear that Milton has the playmaking ability to get himself a shot when needed, something that the bench lacked at times last year. With Milton onboard and at only 27 years old, the Timberwolves may have found themselves their backup point guard for the foreseeable future.