Daryl Morey and the Philadelphia 76ers kept busy during the 2022 NBA Draft that took place this past Thursday (June 23rd).
The Sixers managed to acquire a young and immensely talented two-way guard; albeit, not in the way you’re probably thinking.
While the organization did technically draft Colorado State’s David Roddy with this year’s 23rd overall pick, Morey and the front office did so in the interest of a pre-arranged trade with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Simultaneous with Roddy’s drafting came the news that the Sixers had agreed to send the young college standout to Memphis in exchange for De’Anthony Melton.
In addition to sending Roddy to Memphis, the Sixers also managed to unload veteran Danny Green and his hefty contract onto the Grizzlies.
Who is De’Anthony Melton?
At only 24 years of age, Melton has already established himself as one of the more underrated two-way guards that the NBA has to offer.
Over four seasons in the NBA thus far, Melton has posted career regular season clips of a .409 field goal percentage, a .361 three-point percentage, 3.6 rebounds per game, and 8.4 points per game.
While these stats don’t necessarily jump off the page identifying Melton as a superstar, he is undoubtedly a solid rotational player at the very least.
Furthermore, these stats don’t paint the entire picture regarding both Melton’s career trajectory and overall impact on the court. With each year in the league, Melton has shown steady growth on both sides of the ball.
If we just look at last year alone, Melton shot an impressive 37.4 % from three, and posted a 15.4 PER (Player Efficiency Rating) while only averaging 22.7 minutes per game. Both of these measurements rank above the league average mark, and are career-highs for Melton.
Needless to say, with virtually every aspect of his game considerably improving with each year; De’Anthony Melton is an ascending player who still has yet to reach his prime.
How Does he Fit with the 76ers?
To put things mildly, the entire current Sixers’ roster is one enormous question-mark. Fresh off of yet another disappointing second-round exit, Daryl Morey is sure to shake things up in a major way this offseason.
However, regardless of the impending roster restructuring for the 76ers, Melton will likely be coming off the bench no matter what due to his position.
As a 6’2 combo-guard, Melton will always be slated below both James Harden and Tyrese Maxey (both of whom are nearly certain to return next season) on the team’s depth chart.
As such, I see Melton assuming the role of the team’s sixth man. In doing so, Melton will likely see an increase in minutes with the Sixers, and will be expected to lead the secondary unit as its floor general.
Melton’s already established track-record in the league, as well as his consistent improvement on both ends of the court will likely push Doc Rivers into utilizing him as his most trusted bench piece.
In addition to running the second unit, Melton is also likely to lessen the workloads of both Harden and Maxey by assuming some of their minutes. With his impressive three-point shooting ability and his solid defensive presence, Melton can play alongside either Maxey or Harden whenever one of the two needs an extended breather.
To wrap things up, Melton is the first move of what is certain to be a hectic offseason for the 76ers.
Considering his skillset, track-record, and continued development; Melton’s addition to the team is an undoubtedly solid acquisition by Daryl Morey and co.