De’Anthony Melton is one of the more difficult players to gauge for the 2018 NBA Draft, mostly because he hasn’t played a competitive game of basketball since the 2017 NCAA Tournament. Prior to the beginning of the 2017-18 college basketball season, USC suspended Melton due to a connection with the NCAA FBI investigation. Since then, he has been focused on working out and getting himself ready for the NBA, but what he’ll become as a player is yet to be seen. Most draft analysts see him as a borderline first round pick, ranging from 20 to 32 in prospect rankings around the web.
- Per game: 27 minutes, 8.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.9 steals, 1 block.
- Per 40 minutes: 12.3 points, 7 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 2.8 steals, 1.5 blocks.
- Advanced: 110.8 ORtg, 100.5 DRtg, 19.2 PER, 53 TS%, 3.2 win shares, 8.3 Box Plus Minus.
- Age: 19
- Height: 6’3”
- Weight: 193 lbs
- Wingspan: 6’8.5”
Melton won’t blow you away with his athleticism, but he’s very good at finding ways to use his length to disrupt opponents defensively and block shots. Melton is a crafty defender on the perimeter, leading the Pac-12 in steals and steal percentage as a freshman. He’s also a great rebounder for his size and position. Offensively, his ball handling could use some work, but he’s a willing passer and playmaker, finishing second in assists for the Trojans with 3.5 per game.
Since Melton missed last season, his 2016-17 Draft Express video still contains the most relevant tape scouts have on him:
While Melton is a good finisher around the rim, his jumper needs a lot of work. In 2016, he shot only 28% from 3-point range on just over 2 attempts per game. He lacks an elite first step to get by tight defenders, which means at the next level defenses might sag off of him, clogging passing lanes and limiting his court vision.
His defense should translate, particularly on the perimeter, but his offensive game could be pretty limited should his shot not improve.
Utah Jazz Fit
Having only played one season of competitive ball outside of high school, there’s a lot of room for Melton’s game to grow. He has the physical tools to be a high-level combo guard, and Quin Snyder would find ways to use his length to contribute to the team identity defensively. However, if the Jazz stick to the 21st pick and select a player there, Melton would be a bit of a reach in my opinion. For that reason, the chances he ends up in a Jazz uniform are pretty slim, barring movement on draft night from Dennis Lindsey.
All stats courtesy of sports-reference.com. Scouting video from Draft Express.