BREAKING NEWS: The Golden State Warriors have announced the signing of another highly talented, high-profile superstar player from…

Although Klay Thompson left the Golden State Warriors in free agency, the team is still winning this summer.

On July 7, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report rated De’Anthony Melton of the Dubs as one of the top 10 “sneaky-good” additions this summer, placing him on the normal mid-level exception (MLE).

If his back problems are resolved, Melton, 26, is among the NBA’s best backcourt defenders, according to Swartz. If Melton had played enough games to be eligible, his 1.6 steals per game would have tied Kawhi Leonard for fifth place in the league. With Melton on the team, the Warriors also lessen the defensive load on Stephen Curry, who will turn 37 the following season. With Melton on the court last season, the Philadelphia 76ers were 10.3 points better per 100 possessions thanks to his combination of passing, outside shooting, and defense.

Anthony Melton Could Be a Better Choice for the Warriors Than Klay Thompson
Anthony Melton Getty, Jr.
Former Philadelphia 76ers player De’Anthony Melton.

After thirteen years with the team, six trips to the NBA Finals, five selections to the All-Star team, and four championships, Thompson’s passing was a devastating emotional blow to the Bay Area. However, one could argue that the much younger Melton is superior to his eventual Hall-of-Fame predecessor in terms of on-court output and fit.

In an interview with ESPN on July 2, Tim Bontemps stated, “There’s a bit of a narrative that the Warriors have made some tragic mistake in terms of being a championship-contending team by not re-signing Klay Thompson.” This was in reference to the podcast “Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective.” “De’Anthony Melton is a better match for the Warriors this year than Klay Thompson, assuming his back is well—which is a huge if considering he missed nearly the whole 2024 calendar year due to persistent back issues.”

He continued by arguing that Melton, rather than rookie Brandin Podziemski, who replaced Thompson as the starting point guard for a significant portion of the 2023–24 season, would wind up starting back court for the Warriors alongside Stephen Curry the following season.

“Melton is a dynamite defender and a borderline 40% 3-point shooter, so I could see him starting at the [shooting guard spot],” Bontemps said. “De’Anthony Melton is a really good player. He signed a one-year, full MLE deal, which is obviously a bet on himself to have a big year and get paid next year, if he hadn’t had these back issues last year.”

Warriors Receive Significant Offer from De’Anthony Melton on MLE Sixers’ De’Anthony Melton Getty
Former Philadelphia 76ers player De’Anthony Melton.

Melton was chosen by the Houston Rockets in the second round of the 2018 NBA Draft with the No. 46 overall pick; in August of the same year, the Rockets traded Melton to the Phoenix Suns. Before the Suns traded Melton to the Memphis Grizzlies in July 2019, he spent his rookie season playing in the desert.

After spending the following two years honing his professional skills in Memphis, Melton signed a three-year contract worth $34.6 million in November 2020. In June 2022, Melton was dealt by the Grizzlies to the Sixers, where he played a record-breaking 27.9 minutes per game.

In 115 games, including 91 starts, Melton averaged 10.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.6 steals with the Philadelphia 76ers, according to Basketball Reference. During his two seasons with the 76ers, he also shot 37.9% from outside the 3-point line on 5.4 attempts per game.

Melton played in just 38 games and made 33 starts last season as a result of his previously noted back problems, missing more than half of the campaign. He so consented to the MLE in order to sign a one-year contract with Golden State in early July, which will pay him little under $13 million.

With an emphasis on the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears, and Cleveland Browns, Max Dible covers the NFL, NBA, and MLB for Heavy.com. Before joining Heavy, he worked as the news director for Pacific Media Group’s chain of Big Island radio stations as well as a reporter for West Hawaii Today, covering both local and state news. He also worked as the news director for BigIslandNow.com. Additional information on Max Dible

 

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