Breaking down the De’Anthony Melton trade to Philadelphia


Melton, alternatively, is a extra confirmed commodity, and he was reportedly coveted by groups across the league. Now getting into his fifth season, Melton continues to be solely 24 years outdated, so it’s not like he’s a completed product by any means, however he’s proven he could be a productive participant on the NBA degree.

A giant a part of what made Melton such a scorching commodity on the commerce market is his protection. Though he stands simply 6-foot-2, Melton has a 6-foot-8 wingspan and is likely one of the higher guard defenders within the NBA. I’m not a giant fan of utilizing superior stats for measuring defensive influence, however they nearly universally love Melton on that finish of the court docket.

An excellent athlete who performs with physicality, a number of vitality, and a knack for the ball, Melton will get loads of deflections (2.8 per recreation), steals (1.4) and blocks (0.5) for a guard. The truth is, he was one of many league leaders at his place in all of these classes on a per-minute foundation (he averaged 22.7 MPG final season).

He’s additionally an excellent rebounder (4.5 RPG) who likes to push the tempo in transition. These are vastly helpful attributes for a 76ers workforce that ranked 29th in rebounding and 25th in tempo final season.

Melton ought to be a wonderful complement subsequent to Maxey or James Harden, and even each. Harden tends to play higher defensively in opposition to larger gamers, so permitting Melton, who’s a far superior defender than both of his new backcourt mates, to defend the opposing workforce’s greatest guard sounds good on paper.

He’s an instantaneous and main improve over each Shake Milton and Furkan Korkmaz defensively, and a greater offensive participant than Matisse Thybulle. These have been Philadelphia’s three major backup guards on the finish of final season.

Melton will earn $8.25M subsequent season and his $8M wage in 2023-24 is partially assured at $1.5M, so he’s on an inexpensive contract and is eligible for an extension this offseason, although Philadelphia may wish to take a wait-and-see strategy earlier than making that call.

There are just a few different issues value noting about Melton’s acquisition. 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey truly drafted Melton with Houston again in 2018 previous to attaching him to Ryan Anderson in a wage dump transfer, so Morey has been accustomed to the guard’s recreation courting again to his lone faculty season with USC.

Melton was principally handled as a non-shooter throughout his first couple of NBA seasons, making simply 29.4 p.c of his three-pointers in that point, however he has improved drastically in that space over the previous two seasons, taking pictures 38.8 percent from deep on a lot larger quantity. Having the ability to house the ground round Joel Embiid is important for Philadelphia’s offensive stream and spacing, so whereas Melton can run cold and warm, he ought to get loads of open seems.

Lastly, Melton is a combo guard, and since Harden, Embiid and Maxey management the ball a lot, the truth that Melton can be an ancillary participant as a substitute of a major ball-handler is an additional advantage. That’s to not say he’s unhealthy at enjoying the purpose, it simply isn’t his predominant power.

The Grizzlies’ perspective:

If Melton is such a strong younger participant, why have been the Grizzlies keen to deal him? Why not simply hold him?

Memphis is likely one of the few groups within the league that has a luxurious of riches at a number of positions, and backcourt depth is probably the workforce’s best power. Led by starters Ja Morant and Desmond Bane, the Grizzlies had Tyus Jones, Melton, John Konchar and Ziaire Williams vying for minutes at guard (Williams additionally spent plenty of time at ahead final season and will open the season there because of Jaren Jackson Jr.‘s harm and Kyle Anderson‘s departure to Minnesota in free company).

Melton’s strengths weren’t essentially redundant amongst that group of gamers — he was the very best defender of the guards — however shifting him clears further minutes for his former teammates. Jones re-signed with Memphis as an unrestricted free agent on a two-year, $30M deal, and the Grizzlies later gave Konchar an extension.

Melton additionally noticed his function diminished and his offensive manufacturing decline considerably in two consecutive postseasons, averaging simply 5.8 PPG, 3.1 RPG and 1.4 APG on .333/.266/.667 taking pictures in 15 profession playoff video games (16.9 MPG). That will have contributed to Memphis’ determination to maneuver him.

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