De’Anthony Melton was traded alongside Josh Jackson, who we met here, from the Phoenix Suns for Kyle Korver and Jevon Carter. It was a move to bring about cap relief for Phoenix to retain Kelly Oubre Jr.
Like Jackson, Melton has had his part in controversy in the past. We will explore that later, so first let’s get to know who De’Anthony Melton is.
De’Anthony Melton was born May 28, 1998 and he attended high school at Crespi Carmelite High School in California. Out of high school, Melton was a three star recruit and he headed to the University of Southern California.
As a freshman, Melton played in 36 games, starting 25 of them. He averaged 8.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists. He only shot 28% from three but had 69 steals and 37 blocks as a 6’4” point guard.
De’Anthony decided to return to USC for his sophomore season. However, due to the FBI investigation into the NCAA, USC decided to suspend Melton indefinitely. It was believed that a family member of his was caught up in the scandal with one of his assistant coaches at USC.
Before finishing his sophomore year, he withdrew from USC and declared for the 2018 NBA Draft. The Houston Rockets selected Melton 46th overall and he played for their summer league team the following month.
In the Summer League, he averaged 16 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 rebounds. A dominant stretch of 5 games. Before the summer was over, the Rockets traded Melton to Phoenix with Ryan Anderson for Marquese Chriss and Brandon Knight.
In his rookie year for the Suns, Melton played in 50 games, starting 31 of them. In his 50 games he averaged 5 points, 2.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.4 steals. His three point shooting improved almost 3 percentage points from his freshman year at high school, but still leaves a lot to be desired at 31%.
His value for the Grizzlies will be that of a solid defensive back up guard that takes care of the ball. He won't light the world on fire from behind the arc, but he will keep other guards from doing the same. He will be a developmental piece for the Grizzlies going forward, possibly seeing some time in Southaven for the Hustle to keep him on the floor and in a rhythm.