Philadelphia 76ers: It’s time to sign Shake Milton… again

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

After playing incredibly well on a two-way deal as a bench reserve, it’s time for the Philadelphia 76ers to sign Shake Milton to a multi-year NBA contract.

I’m of the mindset that when a player has a signature song or catchphrase, it instantly makes them more likable to a fanbase.

From Terrell Owens‘ T.O. song, to the current appropriation of Minnesota’s Skol chant used by both Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles and seldom used Philadelphia 76ers guard Markelle Fultz, marketing matters in the sporting world.

And somehow, against all odds a two-way player drafted 54th overall in the 2018 NBA Draft may have the most recognizable name on the entire roster; Shake Milton.

More from Philadelphia 76ers

A lot of the credit for this has to be given to Milton’s father, Myrion, who was nicknamed the ‘Milkman’ back in college at Texas A&M and gave his son the nickname before birth, but there’s just so much that can be done with Shake.

From the classic ‘shake shake shake, shake shake shake’ from the song Shake Your Booty by The KC and The Sunshine Band, to the now-infamous ‘Shake And Bake’ quote from Will Ferrell’s seminal 2006 hit Talladega Nights, anytime Milton hits the court it’s going to be memorable.

However, none of this really matters if a player can’t play, as there are plenty of dudes sitting at home right now with great nicknames. Fortunately for the Philadelphia 76ers, Shake Milton can seriously play.

Milton has been so good for the Sixers, in fact, that he’s carved himself a nice niche coming off the bench while in the midst of a two-way contract.

But therein lies the problem; as per NBA rule a two-way contract player can only be with his parent club for 45 days, and if Milton continues just soak up garbage time minutes and appearances due to injury, those 45 days will come up quick.

However, this is a good problem to have.

The Sixers clearly like Milton, as they went so far as to trade two second-round picks to secure his services, but when he suffered a back injury in the preseason, it all but eliminated his chances of earning a spot in Brett Brown‘s rotation right away.

Luckily, the Sixers were able to sign him to a two-way contract, with the hopes of letting this season play out as a redshirt year. However, Milton has made those intentions difficult.

Since making his debut on November 30th against the Washington Wizards, Milton has appeared in 10 total games for the Sixers, averaging 3.5 points in 7.5 minutes of action a night while knocking down a very impressive 46 percent of his 3 point attempts, albeit on only 15 attempts. While those stats could shift wildly in either direction with an uptick in minutes, as he has only spent 75 minutes on an NBA court, his G-League stats should inspire hope.

In 12 games of action with the recently-rebranded Delaware Blue Coats, Milton has averaged more than 24 points a night on 19 shots a night, the 11th and eighth highest marks in the league respectively, to go with a more than solid 5.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists. While these stats can be taken however you’d like, this experience has been vital to Milton’s development, as he’s almost never going to receive 36.4 minutes of action a night in the NBA.

But in 12, 18, or maybe even 24 minutes of action, Milton could become a vital cog in Brett Brown’s system.

If Landry Shamet is a mini J.J. Redick, then Shake Milton could very well be a mini Landry Shamet, which is looking like a better and better outcome with each passing week.

A college point guard at SMU, Milton very much looks and plays the part of a modern NBA combo guard, one capable of holding down either backcourt position, while being equally likely to dish a dime or hit a shot (at least in theory). Much like Shamet, another college guard who’s currently having his moment in the sun following a record tieing eight 3-pointer performance against the Wizards at the Wells Fargo Center, Milton has the ability to park on the wing, but also drive to the hope, keeping an eye open for open shooters in Brown’s motion-based offense.

Could Dennis Smith Jr. complete the Process?. dark. Next

So, if the Philadelphia 76ers are serious about both winning now and developing their bench into an at least average unit, it may be wise to utilize their 15th roster spot not on a waiver claim, or on a free agent, but their own two-way guard; locking him into a long-term, cost-controlled deal for the foreseeable future. The team has plenty of assets, prospects, and players that can be traded for an immediate upgrade, but playing the long-game with Shake Milton could be incredibly beneficial.