De’Anthony Melton Trade Earns Sixers a B-Plus Grade from ESPN
Trading Danny Green and pick No. 23 to the Memphis Grizzlies for De'Anthony Melton is not earth-shattering stuff. Yet for the Philadelphia Sixers, they've added a nice pace off the bench to give them some scoring behind James Harden and Tyresse Maxey.
ESPN’s Kevin Pelton gave the move a B-plus grade from the Sixers’ perspective as they add a good shooter who gives the team better scoring off the bench.
Playing off the bench for the Grizzlies, Melton developed into a reliable shooter (39% from 3-point range the past two seasons) who offers one of the league's better combinations of rebounds, steals and blocks from the backcourt. Melton is stretched a bit as a lead ball handler but won't likely have to play that role much for the Sixers alongside Harden and Tyrese Maxey. Meanwhile, his shooting differentiates him from new teammate Matisse Thybulle, also an ace perimeter defender.
It could be underwhelming if this is all the Sixers do this offseason, but adding a bench pieces who can score with playoff experience is never a bad thing.
Melton definitely cracks the rotation, with the worst-case scenario being that he is forced into playing heavy minutes if someone gets hurt. He seems to do his best work when he is in the 20-25 minutes range.
Melton averaged a career high 10.8 points per game last season in Memphis.
A product of USC, he was drafted by Daryl Morey in the second round of the 2018 draft in Houston, but never played for the Rockets, spending three of his four seasons with the Grizzlies and one year with the Phoenix Suns.
Melton is a good three-point shooter (36% for his career), hitting 41.2% during the 2020-21 season.
With the Grizzles though, he was blocked by Dillon Brooks and Ja Morant, which cut into his playoff minutes.
With starting wing Dillon Brooks in and out of the lineup, Melton averaged a career-high 22.7 MPG for the Grizzlies in 2021-22 and was a key part of the team finishing with the West's second-best record. Come playoff time, however, it was Melton's role that was variable. He didn't see any action during the last two games of Memphis' first-round series against the Minnesota Timberwolves and played sparingly in the final two losses to the Golden State Warriors in the second round.
On the Sixers, Melton might be behind Harden and Maxey in the starting lineup, but as Pelton points out, he is good enough to join them on the floor in late game situations.
Melton probably won't start for the Sixers, who presumably want more size on the perimeter, but he could finish games alongside Harden and Maxey depending on the matchups.
To plug Melton into the roster is a nice move to get the offseason rolling while taking advantage of a Memphis team that needed to get more flexibility, making his a fine move to
For what its worth, Pelton gave the Grizzlies a C+ for the move.