Title: De’Anthony Melton Is An Obvious Fit And Potential Steal For The Rockets
Date: July 12, 2018
Original Source: Dime Magazine (Uproxx Sports)
Synopsis: In my latest for Dime Magazine at Uproxx Sports, I wrote about De’Anthony Melton, who fell on draft night but fell right into a perfect fit with the Houston Rockets.
It seemed too perfect a fit not to happen: The draft’s analytics sleeper landing with the Houston Rockets. Where OG Anunoby was the Sexy Blogger Pick a year prior, as Fran Fraschilla put it on draft night, De’Anthony Melton represented the spreadsheet darling of sorts, possessing exactly the kind of profile that would seem to endear a player to Daryl Morey and company. Heading in, though, there didn’t seem to be any good reason Melton would slide to them. With no pick until No. 46, how would the Rockets get so lucky?
The answer, it turns out, is a mix of factors. NBA teams operate in a more risk-averse and security-seeking manner than objective outside analysts have to work with, for example. Not all teams operate under the Best Player Available approach, depending on where they are on the competition curve, where they’re picking, and what immediate needs they think a rookie might be able to fill. Melton is also a little undersized if he’s a two and not yet a pure point if he’s to play the one, and last anyone saw him in game action, his shot mechanics looked to need some minor tweaking.
And then there’s the whole matter of Melton having not played competitive basketball for an entire year. Occam’s Razor would suggest the year off is probably the biggest culprit in Melton sliding to what seems like a pretty great situation for him in Houston. Melton was caught up in the adidas/NCAA/USC mess of an improper benefits scandal, and a few months after USC suspended Melton indefinitely, he opted to declare for the draft.