In a story for The Athletic, former NBA executive John Hollinger sat down and ranked the top ten best free-agent contracts handed out during this past offseason. Basing his rankings off both player production and money handed out, the Philadelpha 76ers had a surprising inclusion on the list.
Signing for just barely over a veteran’s minimum, extending Shake Milton this past summer has turned out to be one of the best movies during the Elton Brand era. Initially drafted in the second round of the 2018 draft, the Sixers opted to sign him to a one-year deal as opposed to a traditional rookie multi-year contract. After having a stellar first season in the G-League, it put the Sixers front office in a position where they could extend him heading into the 2019-20 season.
Milton received a 3-year/$4.99 million contract this past offseason, a number that is absurdly low considering what Milton is developing in to. With the NBA playoffs less than two months away, some fans are even calling for Shake to be an everyday starter at the SG position.
With a $2 million team option also included for the 2022-2023 season, the Sixers are looking at a scenario where they could have one of the cheapest starters in the entire NBA over the next few seasons.
Across 32 games this year, Milton is averaging 9.5 points per game while shooting over 45% from three. He put up a career-high 39 against the Clippers back in March and averaged close to 20 points per game during the last few games in Ben Simmons’ absence.
Milton has a cap hit of $1.7 million in 2021 and a cap hit of $1.9 million in 2022. Considering the Sixers are way over the current salary cap and are likely looking to shed contracts this offseason, having a potential starter on such a low salary is crucial to building a competitive roster moving forward.
Here’s what the former Memphis Grizzlies Vice President of Basketball Operations explicitly had to say about Milton:
“Milton established himself as a back-end rotation player in Philly this season and, at 23 years old, has time to launch his career further in the coming years… This could end up as a massive win for Philly.”
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports