It happened, it finally happened; After weeks and weeks of anticipation, the Philadelphia 76ers have drafted David Roddy is out of Colorado State… Only to trade veteran off-ball guard D’Anthony Melton to the Memphis Grizzlies.
That’s right, after spending an entire day seemingly trying to make a deal for Eric Gordon, the Sixers chose to go the other direction for one reason or another and collect a player with similar skills. The price of admission.
Oh, and did I mention that Melton was born in the 1990s and nearly a full decade younger than Gordon? Because it is fortunate.
Are there more shoes to drop? Presumably so. Can the Philadelphia 76ers still pursue a roster that fits their big 3 Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxi and James Harden from players like Matisse Thibulle, Furkan Karkmaz and Tobias Harris? Yes, but for the time being, D’Anthony Melton is a member of the Sixers, and his presence on the team makes the players around him much better.
The Melton Philadelphia 76ers add much-needed protection to the rotation.
DeAnthony Melton is a classic example of a 3-and-D backcourt performer. Whether in line two, plug into lineup at point, or use three, where his 6-foot-8.5 wings are his 6-foot-2 height, Melton can score a bit from the dribble. Turn the ball in his hands, and most importantly, hit the catch-and-shoot 3s at a 40.6 percent clip.
After his rookie season with the Phoenix Suns led to Memphis where his career really began, Melton averaged 9.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.7 assists and .5 blocks with just 20.9 minutes per game. He is a good two-guard who plays traditional point guards like Tuce Jones and uber-athletic drivers like Ja Morant, and thereby he develops into a certified off-ball presence, where he performs on-ball duties. A more elaborate offensive game built around driving, cutting, passing and shooting without the key around – a no-man’s land of modern-day, analysis-based shooting.
And on defense? Well, Melton is a certified dog and Philly is looking for it.
Like Thybulle, Melton is one Lane obstructions passing by elites He is constantly looking for theft and opportunities to give ball handlers a tough time. In Memphis, Melton was used as a key defender, a locking guard against an opposing team’s top guard, and an off-ball defender, where his long sleeves and spectacular vision make him. Threats to intercept passes, pull offensive rebounds and block the ball when it goes off the air.
If the Sixers do not trade 23 for Tobias Harris’ contract or use it to get a big-time star as part of a larger package, the 24-year-old can shoot a two-way wing.
Is the Philadelphia 76ers finished? There is. If they want to pay PJ Tucker $ 30 million over three years, they still need to get roughly $ 2.69 million to unlock the full mid-level exemption. But the decision to bet on a player like Melton, who still has a two-year, four-year, $ 34.6 million contract, is pretty good, after having some real scenarios that could really, really, really go wrong. Matisse Thibault did not cost the result, especially the deal.