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76ers Show Confidence in Shake Milton, Extend him for 4 Years

By Matt Gregan, Sports Talk Philly Staff

The Philadelphia 76ers signed guard Shake Milton to a four-year contract for the remainder of their salary cap space (around $2 million) on Tuesday night, according to PhillyVoice's Kyle Neubeck. 

Milton was drafted in the second round (No. 54 overall) in last year's draft and has been rotating between the 76ers and their G League team, the Delaware Blue Coats, in his first season in the league. While with the Blue Coats, he showed that he has an ability to score the basketball. In 27 games, he averaged 24.9 points, 5.3 assists and 4.8 rebounds while shooting 48.4 percent from the field and 36.7 percent from beyond the arc. 

The 22-year-old spent most of his time with the 76ers at the end of the season. He didn't get much playing time, and he struggled to get anything going. He averaged 4.4 points, 1.8 rebounds and 0.9 assists, and all of his efficiency numbers were down from his time in the G League. 

The 76ers clearly saw something in him during his time with the Blue Coats to warrant giving him a four-year contract. Milton showed that he has the versatility to play both guard positions, which is something that the Sixers like. With the fact that Philadelphia has not yet brought in someone to play the backup point guard position, it seems like Milton was just handed the keys to an important role backing up Ben Simmons. 

Connor Johnson, head coach of the Blue Coats, spoke about Milton and what he can do to further impress the Sixers organization during the Summer League. 

"I think he's going to be one of the leaders of this [Summer League] team," Johnson said, via an article by PhillyVoice's Kyle Neubeck. "He's been around, understands our program, understands our system, looks confident out there, it's good to see him embrace that role as a leader...the best thing I think we can do for the Sixers is to show his versatility. Show he can play in multiple ways, he can play off of the ball and he can play with the ball."

Milton has some tools that the 76ers could use off the bench, but he is far from being a polished player. He could improve his shooting efficiency, and he isn't a good defender. However, he does have the size (6-foot-6) and quickness to be able to turn himself into an average defender. 

The 76ers are gambling that Milton can reach his potential and do an effective job of backing up Simmons when he either isn't on the floor or when the team uses him as a power forward. 

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