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Shake Milton – 6’6″,Point Guard, Southern Methodist University, 21 years old
Shake Milton is one of the many looking forward to the 2018 NBA Draft. Unlike those who may just be “shooting their shot” and hoping to hear their name called, Milton has a lot going in his favor. He has had a solid college career in his three years at Southern Methodist University. He finished his junior year with a stat line of 18.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg, and 4.4 apg in 36.4 minutes of action per game. Posting a field goal percentage of 45% last season, to go with 43% from deep and 85% from the free-throw line. In Milton’s time with the Mustangs, he has consistently shown this kind of skill and this high level of play that he can bring to the court. Needless to say, he deserved being named to the 2016 AAC All-Rookie Team in his freshman year, and to the Second-team All-AAC both in his sophomore and junior years in college.
Shake Milton is a point guard at 6’6″. In the modern NBA, that mix is extremely sought after. Shake Milton has a lot more than these going for him. As SMU’s point guard, he has shown that he has great ball handling and playmaking skills. He is able to make good decisions that allow him to run his team’s offense. Three years of being the Mustangs’ floor general has also helped him develop an excellent court vision, as well as create his own shot when he sees that passing lanes are clogged.
As previously mentioned, Shake is also a great shooter, and has shot the ball quite well throughout college, ending junior year shooting 45% from the field, 43% from deep, and 85% from the foul line. The consistency that he has shown on the offensive end of the floor will be valuable for his play on the next level, and will help him stand out over others who have fluctuating performances, one night excellent, the next poor.
Another notable aspect of Shake Milton’s game are his intangibles. When he suffered an injury, the Mustangs’ season suddenly seemed aimless and had no direction. These kinds of intangibles are what make players invaluable in the NBA. As seen in the modern game, there are always those players — whether on the court, on the bench, or in the locker room — who are seen as their team’s rock, those who provide leadership and keep their teammates heads in the game. While this will probably not be a make-or-break part of the outcome of Shake’s draft, this factor will definitely contribute to teams who are looking at adding Shake Milton to their roster.
However, Shake Milton is far from being a perfect player. While his height as a point guard gives him an advantage on paper, his performance on the court has been quite different. He has been capable of defending multiple positions, however, his relatively thin frame allows him to be pushed around by stronger and tougher players, even those who are a bit shorter than he is. Shake has been lacking in being truly impactful in this regard. Shake has also been lacking as a team defender, when guarding opponents off the ball.
On offense, Shake’s game also has some key flaws. Most notably is his lack of “explosion”. This severely limits his ability to drive and attack the rim. While he is a capable shooter, opposing defenses in the NBA are much tougher than what Shake has faced before. This makes it imperative that he can not only be able to shoot well, but be able to power his way to the rim.
Some scouts have noted that one of Shake Milton’s biggest strengths, his abilities as a floor general, may have already reached its ceiling. His court vision and playmaking skills may already be at its peak, and at best, will turn out to be average on the NBA level.
NBA Potential and Player Comparison
Shake Milton is a versatile combo guard, and a potential 3&D player possessing some ball skills that allow him to run a team’s offense quite capably. While his defense may never reach an elite level, he can still prove to be a solid defender against opposing players. This, together with his height and physical characteristics relative to the position he mainly plays, makes him a potentially useful role player to have off the bench in the NBA. He can be someone you would bring in to guard an opposing 1, 2, or even 3 while a starter is taking a breather. In times when this is needed, he would also be able to provide an offensive spark with his shooting skills.
Given his potential, Shake Milton can be compared to other 3&D players in the league who have proven to be solid players on both ends of the floor at some point in their career. Some examples are DeMarre Caroll of the Brooklyn Nets, Courtney Lee of the New York Knicks, and OG Anunoby of the Toronto Raptors. These are (or were) players who have proven to be capable defenders when they are needed, as well as offensive catalysts to get their team’s offense going.
Having said all this, Shake Milton seems to have an NBA career ahead of him. If it will be good or bad, that is up to him to decide. He is only 21 years old, and he has shown characteristics that can allow him to develop and mature as a player. He definitely has a lot of time on his hands, and all he has to do is make the most of this time to truly maximize what he has, and to be able to carve a role in and earn a spot in an NBA roster. As to where he might go in the draft, several NBA mock draft boards have him going in the early to mid second round, and some even as early as the late first round. Sports Illustrated has Shake Milton going with the 41st pick to the Orlando Magic, while NBADraft.net has the Dallas Mavericks taking him with their 33rd pick.
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