Southwest Notes: Melton, Grizzlies, Silas, Wood

Should Tyus Jones find a lucrative deal in free agency this summer, the Grizzlies may have a ready-made replacement on the roster in De’Anthony Melton, writes Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Melton was a solid contributor for Memphis this season, averaging 10.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.4 steals on .404/.374/.750 shooting in 73 regular season games (22.7 minutes). He’s also an impressive, versatile defender capable of playing both guard positions.

Melton’s postseason stats dropped off considerably, as he averaged 5.6 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.0 steal on .323/.250/.750 shooting in 10 games (17 minutes). Still, he’s only 23 years old and certainly looks capable of continued improvement.

Ball-handling, getting that one-two go-to getting my shot off,” Melton said when naming offseason improvements. “I think I realized how effective my jump-shooting is this year. I just got to learn how to get to it more and get to it more efficiently.”

Here’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • The Grizzlies had a wildly successful season despite falling to the Warriors in the Western Conference Semifinals, finishing with a 56-26 regular season record — the second-best mark in the NBA — after many predicted they’d be in the play-in tournament prior to the season. They also have the flexibility to make major moves this summer if they so choose, with a great young roster, cap space, all of their own future first-round picks, and the Nos. 22, 29, and 47 picks in the upcoming draft. Yet all that flexibility might lead to a quiet offseason, according to John Hollinger of The Athletic, who reports that the team has informed agents it intends to either select a draft-and-stash prospect or a two-way player with the 47th pick due to a lack of roster spots.
  • In an interview with Kelly Iko of The Athletic, Rockets coach Stephen Silas said one of his primary focuses for next season will be improving the team’s defense, which ranked 29th in the league in 2021/22. “I want to be a better defensive team. We just have to be, and for young guys, that’s hard. Hard for them to grasp the defensive end and be able to anticipate what’s coming. To see a set develop and know where they’re supposed to be, when they’re supposed to be there and be there on time. I want to improve on the defensive end,” Silas said.
  • In a separate article for The Athletic, Iko examines Christian Wood‘s fit on the Rockets‘ roster going forward. Sources tell Iko that rival teams remain interested in Wood’s services despite his sometimes childish behavior, which makes sense considering the 26-year-old averaged 17.9 points and 10.1 rebounds on .501/.390/.623 shooting in ’21/22. He’ll be on an expiring $14.3MM contract next season.
View Comments (2)