Shake Milton

Wolves’ Connelly Talks Gobert, KAT, Edwards, Milton

As we relayed on Thursday, Timberwolves president of basketball operations Tim Connelly spoke during an appearance on The Jon Krawczynski Show about the team’s desire to keep Jaden McDaniels around for the long term, telling Krawczynski that he’d love to get an extension done with the young forward before the season begins.

Connelly’s comments about McDaniels weren’t the only interesting takeaway from that conversation. As Krawczynski writes for The Athletic, the Wolves’ lead decision-maker also addressed several other topics related to the club’s offseason and expectations for the 2023/24 season, including why Minnesota is more optimistic about the pairing of Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns heading into their second year together.

“We don’t have too much video, but we have enough video to understand where we were wrong and where we were right and kind of drill down on those things that were working and say, ‘Maybe we were wrong with this is how things potentially could work,'” Connelly said. “So I just think collectively, knowing all the actors is going to make things a whole lot easier.”

Here are a few more highlights from Connelly during his interview with Krawczynski:

On whether the Wolves viewed 2022/23 as a down year for Gobert:

“I think at times we kind of don’t appreciate how impactful it can be (for a player) to make a big move. And the first one. So I think Rudy was very good last year by NBA standards. I thought by his standards, I don’t think he played up to his standards. I think he’d be the first to tell you. He was coming off a brutal European championship where I think he played until maybe eight days before the season. Nobody works harder than Rudy. Nobody pays more attention and detail to every single aspect of his game, his body, his mental approach. And he’s super, super excited to have a more comfortable season both on and off the court.”

On why he has big expectations for Anthony Edwards this season:

“I think he’s primed to have a monster year. … His work ethic has been insane this offseason. I mean, the guy’s in the best shape of his life. He’s so excited to take the next step, excited with the guys on this team and what they can do as they grow together. But I think with him, anything that’s not sincere or not kind of true to who he is, I think he smells it out quickly. So him forging his path, I think is the challenge that we’ve given him. And how can we help ensure he’s doing it in a way that’s reflective of who he is?”

On the role the Wolves envision for free agent addition Shake Milton:

“We view Shake as a point guard. He’s started enough NBA games at that position where we feel confident that he can handle that load. He’s a guy that, when given the opportunity, he always produced and produced for good teams. Philadelphia has won as many games as anybody in the last three or four years. So we were excited to get him in. I think it gives us a different look with size at that position, his ability to score around the paint and his ability to be a good match for our bigs. He can make some of the passes that, at 6’5″, 6’6″, he’s allowed to make that maybe smaller guards can’t make. So we’re excited about him.”

Northwest Notes: Lillard, T. Brown, Milton, J. Collins, OKC

Appearing on ESPN’s SportsCenter (YouTube link) on Monday night to provide an update on the Damian Lillard trade talks, Adrian Wojnarowski said it’s still “very early” in the process, pointing out that there’s no deadline looming to force the Trail Blazers into action — or to push potential Lillard suitors to submit their best offers.

While the Clippers would “love to be part of this process,” they don’t necessarily have the sort of assets the Blazers are seeking for Lillard, according to Wojnarowski. Portland also isn’t particularly moved by what what the Heat has to offer, but that Miami package may be the best the Blazers can get, Woj suggests.

“Now it’s going to be a process over perhaps this month, August, maybe into September, for Portland to try to extract as much as they can from Miami,” Wojnarowski said. “It isn’t like Miami comes to the table and says, ‘Here’s everything we have for Damian Lillard. Here you go.’ It doesn’t start that way. They’re gauging what Portland has (had) offered to them elsewhere.”

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Troy Brown‘s two-year, $8MM deal with the Timberwolves is only guaranteed for one year, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link). Brown’s $4MM salary for 2024/25 is non-guaranteed. The Wolves used the same structure when they signed Shake Milton, whose $5MM salary for ’23/24 is guaranteed while his $5MM salary for ’24/25 isn’t, Hoops Rumors has learned. Nickeil Alexander-Walker‘s two-year, $9MM contract, on the other hand, is fully guaranteed.
  • After being the subject of trade speculation for years in Atlanta, John Collins is looking forward to getting a fresh start with the Jazz, he said during an interview on the team’s official website. “I was excited going to a place that I knew really wanted me and was trying to have me in the organization,” Collins said. “It’s always very nice to hear and know coming to a place that really wants you and really wants you to excel here. It’s a big sigh of relief knowing that all the trade talks are over and I can go to my new home and start anew.”
  • The Thunder‘s decision to use their cap room to accommodate salary dumps like Davis Bertans, Victor Oladipo, and Patty Mills this offseason reflected the team’s focus on its young core, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman writes. As Mussatto explains, with potentially pricey extensions coming down the road for players like Josh Giddey, Jalen Williams, and Chet Holmgren, Oklahoma City didn’t want to compromise future cap flexibility by signing a free agent to a long-term deal.

Second-Round Pick Leonard Miller Signs With Timberwolves

The Timberwolves have reached a four-year deal with second-round pick Leonard Miller that contains a full guarantee on the first two seasons and a partial guarantee beyond that, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News. Wolfson doesn’t provide dollar amounts for the contract, but the signing is also confirmed by’s transactions page.

Miller was selected by the Spurs with the 33rd pick in last month’s draft before being traded to Minnesota for future draft assets. He was considered a potential first-round selection after a strong performance with G League Ignite.

The Wolves’ signings of Shake Milton and Troy Brown are also official, according to the transactions log. Minnesota used portions of its mid-level exception to add both players.

Milton, who spent his first five NBA seasons with the Sixers, reportedly received a two-year, $10MM contract, while Brown, a part-time starter with the Lakers last season, will get $8MM over two years with a team option on the final year.

The re-signing of shooting guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker, who is being paid $9MM for two years, still isn’t official.

Northwest Notes: Lillard, Jazz, Timberwolves Moves, Brown, Jackson, Braun, Wallace

The Jazz will have internal discussions about getting involved in the Damian Lillard sweepstakes, according to The Athletic’s Tony Jones.

If they make a run for him, the Jazz could put together an impressive package of expiring contracts and future first-round picks for the Trail Blazers All-Star guard, who requested a trade this weekend. He’d instantly transform a team with a suddenly formidable frontcourt and quality depth into a contender.

The downside is Lillard’s age, defensive deficiencies and gargantuan contract. Jones explores the pros and cons of a potential Jazz trade for Lillard and ultimately concludes it would be worth it, as long as they set a strict limit on what they would give up.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Timberwolves, after extending Naz Reid, made a number of under-the-radar moves in free agency to help them avoid future tax issues, Chris Hine of the Minneapolis Star Tribune notes. They divvied up their mid-level exception to acquire Shake Milton and Troy Brown, as well as re-signing Nickeil Alexander-Walker via his Bird rights. All of the contracts were two-year deals. Thus, their roster is almost all set for next season and the combined salaries are below the luxury tax threshold.
  • After losing Bruce Brown in free agency to Indiana, the Nuggets have a huge hole to fill in their rotation. Jones explores how Denver will fill up those available minutes. Reggie Jackson, who is re-signing with the club on a two-year deal, is slated to be the backup point guard. Christian Braun will see his minutes expand, presumably as a combo guard.  Denver could also add another piece via free agency to improve its depth.
  • Due to trade restrictions, Cason Wallace will miss the Thunder’s three Summer League games in Salt Lake City, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman notes. Wallace was chosen with the No. 10 pick in a draft-night swap with the Mavericks, who also shipped forward Davis Bertans to OKC in exchange for the No. 12 pick. The trade can’t be finalized until at least Thursday, forcing Wallace to miss those games. However, he’ll be eligible to play in the Las Vegas Summer League.

Shake Milton To Sign Two-Year Deal With Timberwolves

Free agent guard Shake Milton is leaving the Sixers, having agreed to a two-year, $10MM deal with the Timberwolves, a source tells ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

The 54th pick of the 2018 draft after three seasons at SMU, Milton originally signed a two-way deal with Philadelphia, which was converted into a four-year, minimum-salary contract after his rookie season. That expired after 2022/23, making Milton an unrestricted free agent.

While Milton isn’t a great athlete or a defensive stopper, he has been quite productive when given a chance at a bigger offensive role throughout his pro career. For example, in 11 starts (38.3 minutes) last season, he averaged 20.8 points, 7.2 assists and 4.8 rebounds on a sparkling .518/.413/.970 shooting line.

His overall numbers have been more modest, with the 26-year-old averaging 9.7 points, 2.7 assists and 2.4 rebounds on .458/.368/.830 shooting in 234 games (45 starts, 21.4 MPG) over the past four seasons. Still, that’s solid production for a reserve.

Based on the contract value, it appears as though Milton will be getting part of Minnesota’s mid-level exception. The team also re-signed Nickeil Alexander-Walker and added Troy Brown, so the Wolves have been quite active in free agency, prioritizing young players to fill out their backcourt and wing depth.

Eastern FA Rumors: Kuzma, Kyrie, Bridges, Crowder, Sixers

Free agent forward Kyle Kuzma is seeking a contract “well above the mid-level exception,” according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, but it’s unclear which cap-room team might give him that sort of offer, especially if the Rockets and Pacers use their space on other players.

As Fischer writes, the Jazz were viewed as a legitimate suitor for Kuzma, but that option is almost certainly off the table following Utah’s deal for John Collins. People around the league have begun to consider it increasingly likely that Kuzma could re-sign with the Wizards, according to Fischer. While the Wizards are in the process of reshaping their roster, they’ll have Kuzma’s Bird rights and could view him as a future tradable asset as long as they don’t overpay him.

Here are more free agent rumors from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Following up on a report stating that Kyrie Irving had the Heat on his list of teams to meet with in free agency, Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald (Twitter link) cites a source who says the Heat have no meeting scheduled with the star point guard. Irving will, however, meet with the Rockets, sources tell Kelly Iko of The Athletic (Twitter link).
  • Interestingly, Fischer writes that the Hornets “don’t appear to have a straightforward path to re-sign” restricted free agent forward Miles Bridges. According to Fischer, Bridges and his representatives have broached the idea of Charlotte pulling its qualifying offer to make him unrestricted. Based on Fischer’s report, it sounds like Bridges’ camp may not feel confident about its leverage in talks with the Hornets entering the summer. The forward isn’t eligible to be signed-and-traded because he wasn’t on Charlotte’s roster last season.
  • Although Jae Crowder is considered likely to re-sign with the Bucks, the veteran forward has also drawn interest from the Heat, league sources tell Fischer.
  • While the Sixers may be fairly quiet at the start of free agency, it’s possible it won’t take the team long to come to an agreement with restricted free agent Paul Reed, according to Kyle Neubeck of The team’s odds of bringing back Georges Niang, Jalen McDaniels, or Shake Milton don’t appear as strong. A source tell Neubeck that Niang may get “a nice chunk of money” from a rival suitor on the first day of free agency. Milton is unlikely to return to Philadelphia, while McDaniels’ free agency could take some time to play out, Neubeck adds.

Western FA Rumors: D-Lo, Lakers, H. Jones, Suns, Warriors

There are “strong” indications that the Lakers are trending toward a new two-year deal with free agent point guard D’Angelo Russell, reports Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. According to Fischer, that two-year contract could be worth in the neighborhood of $40MM in total, though the second season may be a team option or non-guaranteed.

While the Lakers have interest in re-signing both Dennis Schröder and Lonnie Walker, it’s unclear which one the club is prioritizing, Fischer writes. Schröder will likely require a raise that exceeds the Non-Bird exception, so if Los Angeles uses its mid-level exception on an outside free agent, the team may have to allot its bi-annual exception to him, Fischer explains. In that scenario, it’s unclear whether the team would have enough room to re-sign Walker to a market-value deal as well while remaining below a hard cap.

Another potential path would see L.A. splits its mid-level between Schröder and a frontcourt player such as Mason Plumlee, sources tell Yahoo Sports. If Schröder doesn’t end up back with the Lakers, a reunion with Bulls coach Billy Donovan in Chicago is possible, Fischer writes. Donovan previously coached the point guard in Oklahoma City.

Finally, Fischer is one of a handful of reporters who have linked free agent forward Cam Reddish to Los Angeles. The Lakers were said to have some trade interest in Reddish – a Klutch Sports client – during each of the past two seasons. He’d be a minimum-salary target, Fischer notes.

Here are a few more free agency rumors from around the Western Conference:

  • Two forwards who had their team options declined by the Pelicans on Thursday figure to take very different paths this summer. According to Fischer, Herbert Jones will likely end up back in New Orleans on a four-year deal worth a little more than $50MM, which would presumably be his Early Bird maximum. Willy Hernangomez, on the other hand, is considered a good bet to accept a lucrative offer from a EuroLeague team rather than seeking another minimum-salary NBA deal, Fischer reports.
  • The Suns intend to bring back several of their own free agents, including Torrey Craig, Damion Lee, Jock Landale, and Josh Okogie, according to Fischer, who says agent big man Drew Eubanks is another strong candidate to end up in Phoenix. Fischer is also the latest reporter to link Yuta Watanabe and Mike James to the Suns.
  • The Lakers and Warriors are among the teams eyeing free agent guard Shake Milton, per Fischer. Free agent forward Dario Saric has also received “strong” interest from Golden State, sources tell Yahoo Sports.

Scotto’s Latest: DiVincenzo, VanVleet, Poeltl, Lakers, Niang, Gallinari, More

Donte DiVincenzo is expected to be a popular target on the free agent market, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, who identifies the Knicks, Timberwolves, Pistons, Pelicans, Rockets, Magic, and Bulls as teams that have interest in the veteran swingman. After settling for a $4.5MM salary in his last foray into free agency a year ago, DiVincenzo could get offers in the neighborhood of the full non-taxpayer mid-level exception ($12.4MM) this time around, says Scotto.

Here are a few more highlights from Scotto’s latest round-up of news and rumors from around the NBA:

  • The Raptors are hoping to re-sign Fred VanVleet on a three-year deal in the range of $90-100MM, says Scotto. The team is also looking to bring back center Jakob Poeltl, but may face serious competition from the Rockets on both players. Although Brook Lopez has been considered Houston’s primary target at center, there’s a belief that Lopez would prefer to return to the Bucks as long as their offer is in the same ballpark as Houston’s, Scotto explains. That could prompt Houston to pivot to Poeltl, who is also expected to receive from the Spurs, as previously reported.
  • While the Lakers would like to re-sign Dennis Schröder, they’re keeping an eye on several other free agent point guards, including Shake Milton, Cory Joseph, and Jevon Carter, says Scotto. In addition to the Bucks and Lakers, Carter is expected to receive interest from the Timberwolves and Suns, among others, Scotto adds.
  • Scotto is the second reporter to link Georges Niang to the Cavaliers today, noting that Cleveland offered a pair of second-round picks for him at the trade deadline. The Sixers, Bulls, and Spurs are a few of the other clubs expected to express interest in Niang, league sources tell HoopsHype.
  • Despite a report indicating that the Wizards are likely to buy out Danilo Gallinari, the two sides haven’t had any discussions about that possibility yet, per Scotto, who writes that the veteran forward is comfortable with the idea of opening the season in D.C.
  • According to Scotto, former NBA wing Glenn Robinson III is attempting a comeback, having signed with agent Keith Kreiter and scheduled workouts with a handful of NBA teams in Las Vegas last month. A career 37.3% three-point shooter, Robinson has been out of the league for the last two seasons.
  • Vin Bhavnani and Mike Batiste are expected to join the Raptors as assistants on Darko Rajakovic‘s new coaching staff, Scotto reports. Bhavnani is a former Thunder assistant, while Batiste was on Stephen Silas‘ staff in Houston last season.

Atlantic Notes: Milton, Harris, Randle, Bridges, Toppin, Rajakovic

Shake Milton is the least likely of the Sixers’ free agents to re-sign with the club, according to Kyle Neubeck of Milton is looking for a opportunity to get an expanded role elsewhere, though that could change if the Sixers fail to re-sign James Harden.

There’s also no traction regarding a possible trade involving Tobias Harris and his expiring contract, Neubeck writes. There’s no sense of urgency to deal Harris, as the Sixers believe they’ll have multiple windows beyond this week to potentially move him. They’re not inclined to deal the veteran forward unless it improves their flexibility or top-end ceiling, Neubeck adds.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Julius Randle believes the Knicks are “not that far off” from being a championship team, he said on Paul George‘s Podcast P show (hat tip to SNY TV’s Ian Begley). “We got a great mixture of talent, bro. We’ve got young dudes, we’ve got guys going in their prime. So we’ve got a great mixture of guys and it’s like, ‘How do we keep getting better?’ So from a team standpoint, I think that’s where we at.”
  • Mikal Bridges believes that when injuries struck the Suns last season, he got a chance to showcase his offensive ability. That set him up to become a primary option after he was traded to the Nets, he told Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated. “I always tell people I got traded at the right time with having pretty much the whole team out and being the guy for about a month and just going through the pains and the gains and growth throughout every day,” he said. “Having bad games and losing a lot to finally starting to get it going and start being efficient and trying to win games. And then once it kind of got to that and then that’s when I got traded. So it was perfect timing. I couldn’t have been traded at a better time.”
  • Obi Toppin’s trade value could be a late first-rounder in this year’s draft, a source told Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. The Pacers could be a potential suitor for the Knicks’ backup power forward, Bondy suggests, since they were interested in him before last season’s trade deadline and possess two late first-round picks. However, Toppin has supporters within the organization and he would become more valuable to the Knicks if they deal Randle in a blockbuster.
  • Darko Rajakovic presented a straightforward approach during the interviewing process for the Raptors’ head coaching job, he told Serbian media outlet MozzartSport (hat tip to  “When I entered the whole process, I had no intention of pleasing anyone and simply wanted to present myself, who I am and what I am, what my beliefs are, and what my basketball philosophy is,’ he said. “In the end, they liked it the most, so they decided to hire me.”

Sixers Notes: Trade Deadline, Fultz, Niang, Milton

The Sixers are hoping to land a reliable backup center before next week’s trade deadline, sources tell Kyle Neubeck of The Philly Voice. Montrezl Harrell and Paul Reed have been filling that role, but Harrell hasn’t been strong defensively and the coaching staff doesn’t fully trust Reed, according to Neubeck.

Neubeck states that the front office is willing to add another big man even if it can’t get rid of Harrell or Reed in the same deal. He mentions former Sixer Andre Drummond, whom the Bulls are reportedly open to trading, as an example of the type of traditional center the team wants to acquire.

Several teams have contacted the Timberwolves about Naz Reid, but Neubeck doesn’t expect him to be an option for Philadelphia. He also says the decision could wait for the buyout market, although it could be tough to find a long-term solution who’s content to be a backup for Embiid.

There’s more from Philadelphia:

  • Furkan Korkmaz, Danuel House and Jaden Springer are the best candidates to be moved in the type of deals the Sixers are considering, Neubeck adds. He hears from sources that Matisse Thybulle would likely be included in a “higher-end” trade, with the Kings among several teams that have shown interest in the fourth-year guard. Shake Milton, who’s headed for free agency after the season, could be useful as a trade sweetener, according to Neubeck.
  • Magic guard Markelle Fultz had 12 points and 10 assists Monday night while playing his first game in Philadelphia since being traded to Orlando in 2019, notes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The Sixers had hoped Fultz would be part of their foundation after drafting him first overall in 2017, but a combination of injuries and shooting difficulties led to him playing just 33 combined games in his two seasons with the team. “I’ve always been a big fan,” Embiid said of his former teammate. “When we traded him, I was disappointed because I felt like we were giving up on him too early.”
  • Georges Niang and Milton believe too much was made about an on-court argument they had during Saturday’s nationally televised game, per Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Niang was upset about not getting a pass from Milton on a two-on-one break, but they both joked about the incident afterward. “I just told both of them to let it go, that we had a [expletive] game to win,” Embiid said. “I think it’s also good for the team, not a bad thing. Guys get into each other, that makes us better. … After the game, we’re all laughing.”