2 76ers that have earned untouchable status, 4 that need to be cut loose

James Harden (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
James Harden (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports /

2nd Cut: De’Anthony Melton

Death, taxes, and don’t overreact to playoff statistics. Melton was doing a solid Caleb Martin impression against the Celtics, a couple of times coming off the bench so hot I swear Doc Rivers had tossed him in the microwave at the scorer’s table.

Melton is what I like to call a three and some-vague-idea-of-D player. He basically has to shoot at or around 40 percent to be effective offensively and must fight like a tiger on defense against the NBA’s premier wings in order to stay on the floor.

And during the playoffs, he more or less did that, but he is simply a lower-tier version of the type of three-and-D wing a team needs to survive in an Eastern Conference dominated by some of the better forwards in basketball—namely Jayson Tatum, Jimmy Butler and others like them. I just wonder if Melton can survive out there long term.

It’s a bit misleading to describe him as a “cut,” but if the 76ers were to get extremely aggressive in a trade, his $8 million expiring should be a solid piece to put in there. He simply is not good enough at what he has to be good at to justify keeping him around if a team were to come knocking.