2018 NBA Draft: Landry Shamet and Shake Milton are league-bound

Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images /

Two interesting combo guards in Shake Milton and Landry Shamet are making the jump to the pros as a part of the 2018 NBA Draft.

There haven’t been too many surprises so far among prospects declaring for the 2018 NBA Draft. DeAndre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III, Michael Porter Jr. and Trae Young are all league-bound. They lead what could be one of the best and most exciting classes in recent years. Where this draft will swing is what value lies outside the lottery. Players like Landry Shamet and Shake Milton can help form this class’ depth.

Shamet and Milton both declared recently with the intention to sign with an agent. That means they’re in for good. Both guys are combo guards who have played three years in college. Shamet, though, missed most of his freshman season. Milton wraps up a solid career at SMU, while Shamet was a part of that great run at Wichita State.

Milton has always shot the ball well, ending his career at nearly 43 percent on 445 attempts from 3. He took his scoring to another level this year averaging 18 per game. Add in 4.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game and you see how he makes an impact across the board. While he’s not overly explosive, Milton uses his length to his benefit. At 6’6″ with a wingspan around 6’11”, Milton is able to shoot over most defenders and finish around length at the rim.

Shamet shares a lack of explosiveness with Milton. However, he’s not the same caliber athlete nor does he possess a great NBA frame. At 6’4″, he has okay size for a combo guard, but can’t shoot over everyone like Milton. Like Milton, Shamet is also a knockdown shooter. Over the past two years, he’s hit 44 percent of his 3s on over 350 attempts. This season Shamet averaged 14.9 points, 5.2 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game.

Despite Milton’s tools and Shamet’s IQ, it’s unclear how good they can be defensively. On the other end though, they’re the type of versatile guards that can play as wings. These are two of the best shooters in the draft, which will account for much of their allure. Milton is especially intriguing because of that aforementioned length.

In the NBA, at least at first, neither will need to carry a heavy usage burden. While they were accustomed to more in college, this should suit them. Both guys will likely get lots of good looks from deep. They’re likely to get run off the 3-point line because they can shoot, which will unlock their passing games. For teams picking in the late teens and early 20s like Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Washington, these are the types of wings that can fill out playoff rotations.

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Milton has a chance to go in the top 20. As for Shamet, he’s more likely to go in the second round have because of his injury history and lack of athleticism. Maybe more NBA teams will learn to invest in smart, shooting wings with later picks rather than just taking a bouncy big man without a lot of skill. These two have NBA futures or at least decent paths to being useful rotation players. Rotation players matter.