Watching Sixers summer league games just got a lot more interesting with the news that the team has signed guard Shake Milton to a four-year contract.

The move, coupled with the near-simultaneous resigning of James Ennis, effectively uses up all the remaining cap space the team had available. It also assures that back-up point guard T.J. McConnell will not be back next year.  This, coupled with the departure of Jimmy Butler, makes it almost certain that the Sixers will begin the season with Milton as their primary back-up point guard.

Details of the deal have not yet been made available, but it most likely will resemble the four-year deal Jonah Bolden signed last summer, with average salaries between $1.5 and $2 million.  All finances aside, casting Milton primarily as a point guard is an interesting move. Coming out of SMU, he was viewed as more of a combo guard with some potential for playmaking ability. In three years with the Mustangs he averaged more three-point attempts per game (5.1) than assists (3.9).

That being said, Shake did average a solid 5.3 assists versus 2.7 turnovers in 35 minutes a game last year in the G-League with the Blue Coats. However, scoring was again his primary calling card in Delaware as he averaged 24.9 points per game and shot 37% from three. In twenty games with the Sixers last year while operating on a two-way contract, Milton averaged 4.3 points and 0.9 assists in 13 minutes a game. Shake was however rarely used at the point in his minutes with the Sixers. 

The team must see something they like in Milton’s playmaking abilities.  Provided he is able to effectively run the offense for ten to twelve minutes a game, Shake could theoretically be an upgrade over T.J. by adding the ability to shoot off the dribble from the three-point line.

If nothing else, replacing the 6’2 McConnell with the 6’6 Milton certainly continues with the Sixers’ offseason theme of creating a 2019 hoops version of the Broad Street Bullies.

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