It was a long night for former University of Maryland star point guard Melo Trimble, but in the end it all worked out.
Considered by many analysts to be an early second-round pick after his freshman year in 2015, Trimble was not among the 60 names called in last night’s NBA draft. He had a stellar season for the Terps in 2016-17, taking them to the NCAA Tournament for a third consecutive season, but watched his draft stock suffer due to a less-than-stellar pre-draft appearance at the NBA Combine and a crowded field of talented point guards (five of the top 10 picks were players at his position).
But minutes after the draft ended last night, ESPN’s Chris Haynes had some happy news to report for Terps fans:
Undrafted guard Melo Trimble of Maryland has agreed to a free-agent deal with Philadelphia, league sources tell ESPN.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 23, 2017
The deal is really a chance for Trimble to prove himself worthy of an NBA contract this summer, providing an opportunity for him to compete with the 76ers Summer League squad. If he performs well, he’ll secure a place for training camp in late summer and, ideally, will have a roster spot waiting for him in the fall. It could also lead to a spot in the NBA G League (formerly called the National Basketball Developmental League, but now with a Gatorade sponsorship) that would let him potentially jump from the minors to the pros later on.
It’s an exciting time to be playing with the 76ers, if nothing else. The franchise has pioneered an approach known infamously as “The Process” over the last few years that involves tanking season after season to stock up on lottery draft picks. The result has been a slew of top-three picks – Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor, Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz, in that order – and gradual improvements in the wins column that have Philly’s fans drooling with anticipation for when their team has finally blossomed.
Fultz, last night’s top pick, and Trimble are coincidentally both from Upper Marlboro. They’ll be competing with one another for a spot as teammates this summer. The way things worked out between high school and their entry to pro ball is a bit ironic, as CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein noted.
Markelle Fultz was cut from DeMatha the same year that Melo Trimble was a Top-50 recruit. Today one is a top pick, the other undrafted.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) June 23, 2017
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