Knicks acquire guard with microwave capabilities in recent free agency projection

De'Anthony Melton, Knicks
Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks have a great need for a backup point guard, and get a quality one that can wear multiple hats in a recent free agency projection.

Knicks could target 76ers backup guard in free agency

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Philadelphia 76ers
Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report listed Philadelphia 76ers combo guard De’Anthony Melton as the Knicks’ dream offseason target among players up for grabs ahead of the 2024-25 NBA season, saying this in part (h/t Jeremy Brener of Fan Nation’s All Knicks):

“De’Anthony Melton fits this new mold as a tough, defensive guard/wing who rarely turns the ball over. The 26-year-old averaged 11.1 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.6 steals while shooting 36.0 percent from three with the Philadelphia 76ers, but the Sixers might not re-sign him if they’re able to land a star this offseason,” Swartz wrote.

Knicks: De’Anthony Melton could be the answer at backup point guard

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Philadelphia 76ers
Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

Melton is a role player who elevates whichever team he’s on, whether in the starting lineup or off the bench. In addition to his numbers from a year ago, which Swartz laid out, the California native is adept at controlling and flowing with the pace of the game.

From the eye test, Melton’s natural feel allows him to thrive when setting up the offense, trailing on the break as a spot-up threat from outside or moving without the ball in the half-court.

Melton fits the Knicks’ team culture and new brand of basketball

Dec 5, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; New York Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau gestures towards New York Knicks guard Josh Hart (3) on the sideline against the Milwaukee Bucks in the first half at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

If asked to, Melton can orchestrate the offense behind Jalen Brunson in a condensed role. He posted 14 games with at least four assists in 2023-24. Given that the Knicks also dealt with a wave of injuries, the 26-year-old would complement Brunson in the off-guard slot, having made 1.4 catch-and-shoot threes, which would have ranked No. 3 on the Knicks in the regular season campaign.

Donte DiVincenzo set a standard in New York. The championship-proven guard helped the team move the ball swiftly while getting to his spots without needing it in his hands. Melton falls under that same standard and would be an ego-less guard who is also capable of erupting for a big scoring night. His defensive abilities would earn him favor in Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau’s eyes and fit right in alongside the gritty players under him.

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