Report: De’Anthony Melton agrees to four-year, $35 million deal with Grizzlies
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 21, 2020
Melton, who was selected by the Houston Rockets in the 2018 NBA Draft, will earn $9.6 million in net salary next season, which will be the highest of his draft class. Melton had a phenomenal season with the Grizzlies in 2019-20, averaging 7.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 2.9 assists in 19.5 minutes per game. The 22-year-old guard was also arguably the Grizz’s best perimeter defender, averaging nearly 1.5 steals per game. Melton will now join Ja Morant, Dillon Brooks and Brandon Clarke as the only Grizzlies players under contract beyond 2022.
Since the Grizzlies held Early Bird rights on Melton, this deal won’t affect the team’s mid-level exception. According to the John Hollinger of The Athletic, the Grizzlies will most likely use their mid-level exception to sign second-round pick Xavier Tillman and to retain Jontay Porter and John Konchar on multi-year deals. However, with the signing of Melton, they have already filled all 15 spots on their roster.
Nevertheless, with the signing of Melton, it sure seems like the Grizzlies are considering him as an important part of the promising culture the Grizzlies are building. This past season, Memphis took an enormous step in its rebuilding process, finishing off as the ninth seed in the Western Conference with a record of 34-39. Even though the Grizzlies missed the playoffs by one game, they showcased plenty of promise. They’ll be seeking to make the playoffs next season for the first time in four years.