The Philadelphia 76ers pulled off a big draft night trade in June when they sent Danny Green to the Memphis Grizzlies in a deal to bring De’Anthony Melton to Philadelphia.
Melton is averaging 10.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists while providing elite defense. Melton is also shooting 39% from deep. He has been terrific on both ends of the floor for Philadelphia. The Sixers would not be in the position they are in right now without him when considering all of the injuries they have sustained.
Bleacher Report listed every NBA team’s best contract and Melton received that distinction for the Sixers. He is playing on a two-year deal for $16.5 million:
The Sixers parted with a first-round pick (and Danny Green’s expiring contract) to pluck Melton out of Memphis on draft night, so it’s not like Philly got him for cheap. Still, looking back on the deal, it’s starting to give off larcenous vibes.
He’s been so good that he supplanted Tyrese Maxey — he who shall not be mentioned in any fake Philly trades — from the starting lineup. Melton is a dogged (and impressively versatile) defender, who’s also scoring at a career clip (11 points per outing), more than doubling his turnovers (1.4) with assists (2.9) and posting his second-best shooting rates from the field (42) and outside (39.3).
Next season is a partial guarantee.
The Sixers will certainly lean on Melton for his defense to navigate the murky waters of the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Sixers have not reached the finals since 2001 and they hope the man they call Mr. Do Something can do something about that.