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Grizzlies trade De’Anthony Melton to 76ers, trade up with Timberwolves

De'Anthony Melton in Philadelphia 76ers v Memphis Grizzlies

MEMPHIS, TN - DECEMBER 13: De’Anthony Melton #0 of the Memphis Grizzlies dunks the ball during the game against the Philadelphia 76ers on December 13, 2021 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

76ers star Joel Embiid bemoaned Philadelphia’s lack of hardnosed role players like P.J. Tucker. The 76ers will have a chance to chase Tucker in free agency.

For now, Philadelphia is assuring itself one player who fits that mold by trading No. 23 pick David Roddy to the Grizzlies for De’Anthony Melton.

A defensive-first guard with complementary offensive skills, Melton should fit well with James Harden (assuming Harden stays). Similar to how Patrick Beverley fit with Harden on the Rockets. Remember, 76ers president Daryl Morey originally drafted Melton, now 24, in Houston in 2018.

Philadelphia will partially guaranteed the contract of injured Danny Green to use as salary matching for Melton, who’s locked in for a reasonable $8.25 million next season and $8 million the following season. Not a bad break for Green to get paid some while hurt.

In addition to landing Roddy at No. 23, Memphis also traded up for No. 19 pick Jake LaRavia, sending No. 22 pick Walker Kessler and the No. 29 pick to the Timberwolves. I rated Kessler ahead of LaRavia, anyway. Kessler could be the defensive-minded center Minnesota sought to play alongside Karl-Anthony Towns, though that’d be a fairly slow big-man combination defensively.

The Timberwolves used the No. 29 pick (TyTy Washington) to trade up with the Rockets for No. 26 pick Wendell Moore. Again, I rated Washington ahead of Moore.