What role will Shake Milton play with the Philadelphia 76ers next season?
The question right off the bat was simple: How would Rivers maximize the talents of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons? Two All-Stars who had played three years together and look to make that next jump in postseason success.
Another thought was what effect would Rivers have on Tobias Harris? Before being traded to Philadelphia in 2019, Harris was having a career year under Rivers with the Los Angeles Clippers.
More from Section 215
- Philadelphia Eagles: The Jalen Hurts experiment needs to end
- Did DeSean Jackson just play his final game with the Philadelphia Eagles?
- Philadelphia Flyers: Kevin Hayes proved his worth in 2019-20
- 3 takeaways from the Philadelphia Eagles wild comeback win on TNF
- Philadelphia Eagles: The NFC “Least” still goes through Philly
Among all of the talent that lies on the 76ers roster, there is one player that is not talked about enough that could impact greatly from the hiring of Rivers.
That player is Shake Milton.
After being drafted with the 56th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft and spending his rookie season up and down the G-League, Milton got a chance to showcase his talent at the NBA level.
In his second season, Milton started out as a reserve/bench player and ended it as a starter on a playoff team. Milton made 24 starts and averaged 11.9 points per game on 51 percent shooting while knocking down 46percent of his shots from 3 in those starts. Milton had very impressive games, including a 39-point game against the Los Angeles Clippers and his eventual coach.
After the NBA resumed in Orlando, Milton found himself in the starting lineup as the point guard for the Sixers. He remained the starting point guard after an injury sidelined Simmons for the remainder of the season. In his first career playoff series, Milton averaged 14.5 points on 47 percent shooting and 40 percent from 3 against the Boston Celtics. Although they did not win the series, there was definitely excitement around Milton for the future.
With a new coach and a roster that is filled with talent, what role will be best for Milton next year?
One of the players that excelled the most under Rivers for the Clippers was Lou Williams. In his three years under Rivers, Williams became the best sixth man in the NBA, where he averaged 20.4 points a game off the bench and took home the Sixth Man of the Year Award twice. Rivers knew that Williams’s best opportunity would be in the sixth man role, which he should do with Milton and the 76ers.
No, I am not recommending that Milton is on the same level or better than Williams right now. Williams has established himself as an elite scorer off the bench during his career.
However, it isn’t crazy to think Milton could become this one day.
Looking at the current roster of the 76ers, Milton is their best option off of the bench. Among players like Furkan Korkmaz, Mike Scott, Matisse Thybulle, and Norvel Pelle, none of them can be the elite sixth man that Milton can be.
Milton has the ability to score from all three levels on offense. He has been an efficient scorer since his college days at SMU and has translated that to the NBA. What will help him the most is his coach putting him in the best position to succeed, and that’s what Rivers will do.
The Philadelphia 76ers have a young talent on their team that will benefit greatly from the hire of Doc Rivers. By working on his game and continuing to get better, Shake Milton can become the elite sixth man that the Sixers need in order to succeed.