Shake Milton, 6’6″, Southern Methodist
2017/18 Season Review
Shake and Bake was a 3-year player for SMU, averaging 18 points per game, 4.7 rebounds per game, and 4.4 assists per game. Shake comes onto the Sixers as the 54th overall pick from the second round and 2-time All-AAC second team. Shake was a 4-star recruit out of high school and chose SMU over the likes of Oklahoma, Indiana, Baylor, and Creighton. Milton is a solid shooter, featuring a true shooting percentage of 60.6% while shooting 43.4% from 3 on 5.9 attempts per game. Shake improved in nearly every category last season, but his season ended abruptly with a right wrist injury. Shake’s biggest moment of last season came from a 33 point performance against #7 Wichita State.
Prior to the start of the season, Shake Milton was named AAC preseason Player of the Year and the Mustangs were projected to finish 4th in the conference. In February, Shake Milton fractured his right hand causing him to miss the remainder of his junior season. Prior to the injury, SMU was 14-7 and 4-4 in conference play. Without Shake Milton, SMU wrapped up the season going 3-9 in his absence and finished 9th in the conference. The Mustangs finished 17-16 in the AAC and lost to Cincinnati in the conference quarterfinals.
2018 Offseason Notables
Shake Milton has flown under the radar all off-season. Here is an interview with Shake Milton a couple of days prior to his workout with the Sixers.
— Harold R. Kuntz (@HaroldRKuntz3) June 8, 2018
On June 11th, Shake Milton participated in a pre-draft workout with potential picks Miles Bridges and Lonnie Walker IV. During the draft, the Sixers traded two of their second round picks to move up and draft Shake Milton with the 54th overall pick in the second round. During the pre-draft process, Shake Milton suffered a stress fracture in his back that caused him to miss the Sixers Summer League in July. On July 26th, Shake signed a 2-way contract, allowing him to bounce between the Sixers and Delaware Blue Coats this season. Philly Front Office was able to discuss this arrangement on our pilot episode of Buttoned Up, the official podcast of the Blue Coats. On September 21st, Shake Milton was cleared for training camp and limited contact drills.
Shake Milton going around the world. pic.twitter.com/TllKjFKU28
— Noah Levick (@NoahLevick) September 24, 2018
Areas of Strength/Needs to Show Improvement
Shake doesn’t have top end athleticism or explosiveness and struggles with finishing around the rim. Two years ago, Shake shied away from contact at the rim, averaging only 2.9 free throw attempts per 40 minutes. Last season, however, Shake showed great strides in this area, increasing his free throw attempts to 5.6 attempts per 40 minutes. Unlike Zhaire Smith, Shake is not a leaper and tends to play below the rim. As a combo guard, Shake needs to improve his ability to create on offense and shoot consistently in order to stick around at the NBA level. A lot of this is a result of an average handle that makes it difficult for him in terms of creating his own shot (however he has shown flashes of an improved handle). Last season, Shake would lose focus on defense despite having a solid physical profile and wingspan. A year of coaching and learning defensive technique from Brett Brown should do wonders for Milton.
Other than his first name (how good is it?!), Shake’s spot up shooting and nifty teardrop shots in the paint are some of his main strengths. According to NBA.com, Shake Milton converted 1.339 points per spot up position, putting him in the 98th percentile for catch and shoot guards. 33% of Shake Milton’s offense came from catch and shoot possessions. Shake Milton ranked 1st in the AAC in spot up scoring (7.4ppg) and 5th in the AAC in off screen scoring (1.2). For a team that thrives at getting shooters open shots via Ben Simmons’ drive and kicks, these are great attributes for a prospect on the Sixers coming out of college. Milton is a solid playmaker with the ball in his hands and has the versatility and potential to defend either guard spot due to a very good wingspan that helps him disruptive passes in the lane and close out on defense. He’s not necessarily a great one-on-one defender but should show promise with better team defense (think Robert Covington). Here are my favorite plays from Shake Milton that highlight his strengths during his last season with SMU.
Shake gets by his man, avoids the defender, and puts up a nifty right handed layup for the and-1.
Shake directs the screen and shows off a quick release from beyond the arc. Shake took 6.5 attempts from 3 per 40 minutes last season.
Shake is not afraid to let it fly if given room to shoot in the pick-and-roll. Shake shot 42.7 percent from 3 last season.
Shake runs off the ball and hits the 3. Playing off ball is exactly where Shake Milton needs to excel on the Sixers. 33% of Shake’s shots were of the catch and shoot variety.
Shake has some impressive range.
Shake fits right in with the Sixers pace, SPACE, and defend style of play.
Shake drives and whips a laser to his teammate in the corner for 3.
Performance and Stat Predictions for the 2018/19 Season
Shake Milton projects best next year as a combo/off guard that can play unselfishly but also hit an open shot when needed. Shake Milton’s positional versatility (7 foot wingspan), knack for catch-and-shoot, and ability to play off ball make him a dark horse to get a spot in the rotation early on in the season. He can play off ball in the half court, lead a fast break, finish in the lane, and hit an open shot. These are the recipes to getting playing time in Brett Brown’s system.
Shake has potential to be a great role player on the Sixers in the near future. However, the mountain to playing time this season is extremely steep. Similar to the situation with Landry Shamet, the Sixers are loaded at guard with Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, JJ Redick, TJ McConnell, and Furkan Korkmaz (why is Jerryd Bayless still on this team???). As much as I’d like to see Shake on the court this year, this will most likely be a developmental year for Milton as he learns defensive technique, gets time with professional trainers, and learns the system. The only playing time Shake Milton will likely get this year will be in 4th quarters during blowout victories.
Official Prediction: Milton’s playing time will be sporadic at best, averaging roughly 5 minutes per game in less than 15 appearances on the season. Expect him to get the same treatment Furkan received last season when he bounced between Philadelphia and Delaware. Shake is a very exciting prospect and I can’t wait to see him grow as a combo/off guard with the Delaware Blue Coats this season.
Editor’s Note: Beginning September 27 and continuing up until the start of the season, we will be profiling each member of the current 76ers’ roster. Be sure to check out our schedule below and hear what our writers expect from our Sixers players.
|September 27||Jonah Bolden||October 8||Wilson Chandler|
|September 29||Shake Milton||October 10||JJ Redick|
|September 30||Zhaire Smith||October 11||Robert Covington|
|October 1||Furkan Korkmaz||October 13||Dario Saric|
|October 3||Amir Johnson||October 14||Markelle Fultz|
|October 4||Mike Muscala||October 15||Ben Simmons|
|October 6||Landry Shamet||October 16||Joel Embiid|
|October 7||TJ McConnell|