As this predicable NBA season wraps up, every NBA team is using this time period to work out NBA prospects for the upcoming NBA Draft on June 22. For players like Melo Trimble, this is the most important time of their basketball careers. Unlike top 3 projected pick Lonzo Ball, Melo doesn’t have the luxury of skipping workouts with teams he doesn’t want to play for. Last week the Wizards worked out a handful of prospects such as local star Daniel Dixon from William & Mary, James Artis from Pitt, James Blackmon from Indiana, DJ Fenner from Nevada, and Monte Morris from Iowa State.
All of these players are certainly worthy of NBA workouts, but Melo is intriguing from a hometown perspective. The Maryland standout earned AP All-American Honorable Mention twice and All-Conference honors all three years at UM, including First-Team Big 10 his Junior season.
For the Wizards, their playoff series loss against the Celtics showed how far away their bench really is from competing for a championship, even after trading their 2017 first round pick (AGAIN) for sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanovic, AKA Bobo Buckets, and signing veteran point guard Brandon Jennings in late February. While these acquisitions were great during the regular season and somewhat effective in the first round series against the Hawks, they were almost irrelevant in the Celtics series.
So how would Melo Trimble, a kid barely ranked in the DraftExpress Top 100 Prospects, be any help to the Wiz?
Looking back during the course of John Wall’s career, he’s never had consistency at the backup point guard spot.
Shelvin Mack was drafted into this role but wasn’t ready at the time. Eric Maynor was a complete disaster. Andre Miller was at the end of his career (personal favorite). Ramon Sessions was good not great. Jennings was okay but he was only there for 10 seconds, and couldn’t play defense even when he tried. Oh, and couldn’t hit a damn open jump shot.
Much of Melo’s struggles at Maryland may have been due to the pressure of being THE GUY every night, and his body seemed fatigued especially during his sophomore season.
If we look at his progression in college, we can see his 3pt% was phenomenal his Freshman year. His FT% was as close to automatic as you could ask for from a college basketball player his first two seasons, and many NBA players would hope to shoot his % from his Junior year as well
The totals show his shooting wasn’t necessarily a fluke Freshman year. 61/148 from three.
I believe fatigue and pressure of being more of a leader and playmaker for the Terps may have held Melo back a bit. He is very confident, but it seemed like his confidence was shaken a bit during his Sophomore campaign. That didn’t stop him from stepping up in the big moments during his career, which brings me to this:
There were questions whether Melo could attack the basket effectively at the next level. Here is Melo attacking the basket against Championship contender UNC. He obliterated the ankles of former High School rival Nate Britt:
Finally, he took college basketball by storm his freshman year, but put the nation on notice with this jumper:
PS-Michigan State couldn’t catch a break against this guy
I’m going to be honest, I’m a little biased because Melo went to my high school, but ever since the kid was a 9th grader he was one of the most poised and seasoned players I’ve seen play high school basketball, all while playing in the WCAC which happens to be one of the most competitive conferences in the nation. A top 40 recruit choosing to play at The University of Maryland over countless schools around the country earned even more respect from me and people all over the DMV. It’s always nice when a local kid comes home to play in his backyard again (Hi Kevin Durant).
The Wizards hold the 52nd pick in the draft, so time will tell if they select him. If they don’t pick him and he goes undrafted, there’s a good chance they sign him as an Undrafted Free Agent if they like what they saw from him in the workout.
He will need some grooming and I don’t think he’ll be ready for the backup guard spot anytime soon, but not many better players to groom a young guard than John Wall, right?
Steph Curry had this to say when asked about Melo Trimble:
“He’s so composed when he’s out there on the floor, but he’s aggressive and he’s not afraid of the moment, he’s not afraid to make big plays,” Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry said on Sunday’s episode of the Big Ten Network’s “The Journey.” “Very similar to how I was back in college.”-Courtesy of Scott Allen, Washington Post
Pretty high praise from the best shooter in NBA history.
Whatever happens, remember to STAYMELO