After coming up short in the postseason, Daryl Morey has been hard at work retooling the Philadelphia 76ers‘ roster. Thanks to a selfless act from James Harden, he had adequate cap space to bolster the supporting cast. Right at the start of free agency, Morey signed veteran wings Danuel House Jr. and P.J. Tucker to multi-year deals.
While many have focused on the moves he’s made in recent weeks, Morey made a move on draft night that flew under the radar. He executed a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies to acquire young guard De’Anthony Melton in exchange for Danny Green and a first-round pick.
Recently, a panel of NBA reporters for ESPN did a roundtable discussing multiple topics heading into next season. When picking what signing or trade will be the most impactful next year, Jamal Collier chose the Sixers adding Melton.
De’Anthony Melton to the Philadelphia 76ers. Melton fit nicely with the Memphis Grizzlies, playing next to Morant and filling in while Morant was injured. He’s exactly the kind of player Philly needs after losing Seth Curry at the trade deadline. He’s a good 3-point shooter, solid defender, quick and going to fit well with the rest of the team.
Melton played in 73 games for the Grizzlies last season and averaged 10.8 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 2.7 APG, and 1.4 SPG. He also shot 37.4% from beyond the arc on just over five attempts per game.
De’Anthony Melton Picked as Sixers Most Underrated Player
Collier is not the only one that thinks De’Anthony Melton has the potential to be a difference-maker for the Sixers. During a recent listing of each NBA team’s most underrated player, the people at Bleacher Report also cited the 24-year-old guard.
On offense, he can create shots for himself and teammates, splash open ones from distance and, if the runway is clear, finish at the basket. On defense, the 6’2″ guard uses his near-6’9″ wingspan, instincts and motor to play bigger than his size and cause all kinds of havoc. His teams have always played better with him than without at an average of 4.4 points per 100 possessions for his career.
As a combo-guard who prides himself on the defensive end of the floor, Melton should be a seamless fit in the backcourt next to either James Harden or Tyrese Maxey. Also, his ability to efficiently space the floor makes him an ideal complement to Joel Embiid.
Sixers Receive Stellar Offseason Grade
Between adding multiple depth pieces and signing Harden to a team-friendly deal, Daryl Morey has had a phenomenal offseason. The Athletic recently handed out grades for each team based on their moves this summer, and the Sixers landed an A-.
All three acquisitions addressed their biggest roster issue: wing defense and depth. There might be more to come, and there’s still the question of whether it’s enough to get over the hump, but this has been a quietly rock-solid offseason in Philly.
Morey has made a flurry of moves over the past two seasons with one goal in mind, competing for a championship. With the newfound depth around Embiid and Harden, all the pieces are in place for them to make a deep run in 2023.