6. De’Anthony Melton
Ironically, the Suns acquired the previous player on this list, Jevon Carter, by trading away De’Anthony Melton. Melton was a 2nd round pick in the 2018 NBA draft and played 20 minutes per game as a rookie. He didn’t shoot the ball all too well, but he showed defensive prowess early by averaging 1.4 steals a game.
Melton now plays for the 76ers, still providing good defense at either guard spot, but also now shooting 39 percent from three while starting 58 of 77 games for the third seed in the east. Similar to Jevon Carter, a 3-and-D guard is the exact type of player the Suns could have used for this year’s playoff run.
However, instead of giving him time, the Suns traded Melton after just one season, along with draft bust Josh Jackson and two seconds, to get Jevon Carter and Kyle Korver. Carter, as I mentioned before, they traded for Landry Shamet soon after, and Kyle Korver never even played a game for them.
Both Jevon Carter and De’Anthony Melton are prime examples of why NBA teams should not give up so quickly on young defensive specialists because if they develop a jump shot, they become extremely valuable role players for contending teams. If the Suns had at least one of those two players, maybe Jamal Murray wouldn’t have torched them all series.