Sixers: 3 players who could have career-best years

De'Anthony Melton, Sixers Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
De'Anthony Melton, Sixers Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports /

Sixers who could have career-best years: De’Anthony Melton

The Sixers swapped Danny Green’s expiring contract and the No. 23 pick for De’Anthony Melton on draft night. In this writer’s humble opinion, that ranks as one of Morey’s best maneuvers as GM. The 24-year-old is on an affordable contract and could quickly emerge as a staple of Philadelphia’s rotation both in the short term and long term.

On the surface, Melton is the third-string guard and could have his opportunities limited by the presence of James Harden and Tyrese Maxey. That said, Melton is arguably the best reserve on the team. He should be on the floor whenever one of Harden or Maxey rests, and he should probably spend a fair amount of time playing next to both of them too. He’s only 6-foot-2, but Melton wields a 6-foot-8 wingspan and plenty of competitive spirit on the defensive end.

Health has been an issue for Melton in recent years, but when healthy, he’s a legitimately fantastic defender who — along with new arrivals Tucker and House — could transform the second unit from a defensive liability into an impactful two-way force. On offense, Melton should get more reps than ever. He’s well-positioned as an off-guard who can hit 3s, beat closeouts, and provide supplementary playmaking alongside Philadelphia’s star guards.

Last season was the most productive of Melton’s career so far. He averaged 10.8 points on .407/.374/.750 splits in 22.7 minutes per game. He should get more playing time in Philly, and it’s not hard to imagine him beating those scoring totals. Expect Melton to really pop off the screen once he’s on the court for Philadelphia; he is one of the more underrated offseason acquisitions in the league.

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