Traded by the Grizzlies to the Sixers in exchange for Danny Green and the 23rd pick of the 2022 Draft, De’Anthony Melton was the first summer signing for the 76ers, who were desperate to get their hands on an outside defender following the departure of Ben Simmons earlier in the year.
After a sublime season from the collective point of view with the Grizzlies, the 24-year-old fullback, author of a 2021/22 season with 10.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists, moves to the East and joins an equally ambitious squad. than the one he left in Tennessee.
” When I saw the team I was sent to, I was relieved. I was like, ‘Okay, this is a very good situation. explained the former resident of USC. ” It suits me well. I know what the team needs, I know their ambitions. I am ready to take up the challenge. »
In a team whose collective revolves around the presence in the low post of Joel Embiid, the full-back is well aware that he will be especially useful to offer space to the Cameroonian pivot, thanks to his reliable outside shooting ( 38.8% success rate over the last two seasons). But also to the 76ers main ball carriers, James Harden and Tyrese Maxey, who are more comfortable when they can attack the circle and come out for their shooters.
A role similar to the one he held alongside Ja Morant in Memphis, finally.
” That’s what this team needs [son profil de shooteur] to get easy baskets. judged Melton. ” I draw fast, I’m ready to shoot as soon as I get the ball. I’m not really the style to dribble all over the place. »
Reunion continues in Philly
In Philadelphia, De’Anthony Melton finds Daryl Morey. As with PJ Tucker and Danuel House, the club’s two other major summer recruits, the current president of the 76ers recruited knowingly since it was he who had drafted Melton, in 46th position in the 2018 Draft, when he was still stationed in Houston.
But the guard was finally transferred to Phoenix a few weeks later, and had therefore never played for the Rockets. Nearly four years later, here he is finally reunited with the one who gave him his chance, when he had been suspended during his second (and last) NCAA year, for suspicion of ineligibility.
” His confidence means a lot. I hadn’t played this year, so I had dropped in the Draft, down to 46th position.“. Melton remembered. ” And he still gave me a chance, I felt like I was really the one the club wanted. »
” I am ready to give everything, for the team, for the city. I am ready for the challenge. he concluded thus.