De’Anthony Melton is coming to Philadelphia. The 24-year-old former USC Trojan comes to the Philadelphia 76ers in a trade, sending the 23 pick, which became David Roddy, and injured swingman Danny Green to the Memphis Grizzlies. In Melton, the Sixers get an excellent guard with two years remaining on his contract who plays solid defense and has shot above 37% from three for the last two years. Melton steps into a backup guard role on the 76ers that was desperate to be filled.
De’Anthony Melton has been an important piece of the Memphis Grizzlies the past three years, playing around 20 minutes a game. Just last year, Melton achieved multiple career highs. Melton set career highs in minutes played per game (22.7), games played (73), three-pointers made per game (1.9), and points per game (10.8). Melton’s shooting percentages from this previous season were slightly down from usual but were still solid. Melton shot 40.4% from the field, 37.4% from deep, and 75.0% from the free-throw line.
How Does Melton Fit?
Melton will fit nicely onto the 76ers bench unit but also has the ability and the skill to step in and start if ever needed. With 235 games played, and 55 starts to his name, Melton knows what it takes to be successful in this league, whether he’s a starter or a bench leader. He does all of the little things to help his team be successful, which will help him endear himself early to the Sixers fanbase.
His three-point percentage of 37.4%, while still being lower than his previous year, would still have ranked Melton as the 4th highest three-point percentage for the 76ers at the end of the year. Beyond just his shooting, Melton’s versatility at the guard position is also a valuable addition to Philadelphia’s bench.
Melton, over his first four seasons in the NBA, has split his time between point guard and shooting guard, playing significant minutes at both positions during his career. In both Phoenix and Memphis, Melton was classified as a point guard due to his size but ended up splitting time between point guard and shooting guard due to his defensive ability and solid three-point shooting, finally making the permanent transition to shooting guard last season with the Grizzlies. Despite making that transition, Melton has proven himself capable at both positions and will fit the 76ers extremely well because of that.
Not one bench player from the 76ers last year averaged double-digit points. Georges Niang was the closest with 9.2 points per game. Melton averaged 10.8 points per game, re-establishing his career-high again. Each and every year, his scoring average gets higher, and with Melton being only 24, it stands to reason that Melton will only get better from here. He continues to get better every year and will hopefully continue that trend in Philadelphia, where he will be (at this point) the best player on the 76ers’ bench.