NBA Trade Grades: Melton to the 76ers
Terms of the Deal
Philadelphia gets: De’Anthony Melton
Philadelphia 76ers Grade: A-
This is solid work from 76ers’ president of basketball operations Daryl Morey. The 76ers were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs despite having MVP runner-up Joel Embiid on the team. The lack of perimeter defense was a big reason why, in addition to Embiid’s injuries and James Harden’s lackluster production. Melton steps in as a tremendously helpful guard defender. He can guard either guard spot and will fit nicely with either Harden or the emerging Tyrese Maxey. Head coach Doc Rivers will be able to play all three together at times as well given Melton’s defensive playmaking and Harden’s post defense.
If Philadelphia does trade defensive stalwart Matisse Thybulle, Melton can usurp his role as a defensive playmaker who generates steals. Unlike Thybulle, Melton is a threat from outside and averages 36% shooting from three for his career. Whoever Philadephia would have selected at 23 likely wouldn’t have cracked Rivers’ rotation. Green tore his ACL and LCL during the loss to Miami, and will likely miss the rest of this upcoming season. This is a low price for a solid player.
So why an A- and not an A? Melton is significantly smaller than Thybulle and Green, and can’t hold up as well against big wings. He’s more of a help defender than a one-on-one stopper and could get taken advantage of by the top guards. Still, it’s hard to find a better fit for this trade package than Melton.
Memphis Grizzlies Grade: C
Memphis has remained notably patient in its team-building strategy despite reaching the playoffs the last two years. After breaking through into the postseason in 2021, they promptly traded their starting center to move up in the draft. Now, they’ve traded an established rotation piece for another draft pick to add to their young core.
We previously discussed the possibility of Memphis trading a rotation player before offering Ja Morant an expensive contract extension. Was this the correct move to make, though? Melton was productive and signed for just over $16 million over the next two seasons. His three-point shooting and defense make him an ideal role player, and Memphis could regret not trading Dillon Brooks after his shot selection hurt them in their playoff loss to the Warriors.
We’ve profiled Roddy previously, and his strength and post-scoring make him an intriguing fit next to Jaren Jackson Jr.’s rim protection and outside shooting. Roddy was projected to be drafted in the second round in most mock drafts. If Memphis’ player development program can work its magic and turn Roddy into a rotation player, he will be well worth the number 23 selection.