4:23pm: The contract is a guaranteed two-year, $2.3MM rookie deal, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.
4:03pm: The Suns have officially signed rookie guard De’Anthony Melton, the team announced today in a press release. Phoenix now has 18 players under contract, including 14 on guaranteed contracts, assuming Melton’s first-year salary is fully guaranteed, as expected.
Melton, who averaged 8.3 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 3.5 APG in his first year at USC in 2016/17, was linked to the NCAA’s bribery scandal last year, prompting the Trojans to hold him out of action. He left the program in February and entered the 2018 NBA draft as an early entrant.
The Rockets used the 46th pick to nab Melton, but traded him to the Suns along with Ryan Anderson in the August deal that sent Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss to Houston. During his brief time as a Rocket, Melton made a strong impression at the Las Vegas Summer League, where he recorded 16.4 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 4.0 APG, and 3.0 SPG in five contests.
Assuming the Suns don’t trade for a veteran point guard, Melton should have the opportunity to make an immediate impact in Phoenix, where he’ll vie with Shaquille Harrison and fellow second-rounder Elie Okobo for minutes at the point. Isaiah Canaan, who is on a non-guaranteed contract, may also be in the mix.
While most second-round picks who signed NBA contracts this offseason received three- or four-year deals, the Suns don’t currently have cap room or the mid-level exception available, meaning they probably won’t be able to offer Melton more than two years, using either the room exception or minimum salary exception. I explored the club’s contract options for the rookie guard earlier this month.