It’s been an interesting journey for Melo Trimble. The guard was a national hype machine from the jump, serving as poster child for both the Terps and the Big Ten as a whole. With each passing year, however, he seemed to have lost some of the magic. His NBA Draft stock trended downward as a result. That downward trend culminated with 60 submitted picks on Thursday, and none of them involving Trimble.
The NBA dream, however, would not be dead.
The Philadelphia 76ers worked late into the night post draft, signing the guard to a contract. Trimble joins undrafted free agents James Blackmon Jr. and Isaiah Briscoe, for what looks like a summer league battle. Three men enter, one man makes the team.
Considering his freshman season performance, it’s no surprise the name Trimble carried some weight and buzz around the NCAA. He exemplified balance, averaging 16.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 3 assists while shooting an impressive 41% from three. His impressive season was capped by Sporting News naming him a second team All-American.
Trimble was able to duplicate his freshman numbers over his sophomore and junior seasons; however, he never quite took the next step. Greater volume and heightened expectations did not translate to statistical explosion. The 41% three-point shooting dipped to 31%. The field goal percentage stayed under 45%.
At the NBA draft Combine, Trimble continued to underwhelm. His 32” vertical was the 9th worst in the field. His standing leap was somehow more atrocious, as he registered the 2nd worst measure at 24.5”. The performance furthered the narrative that the guard lacked the necessary athleticism to excel at the next level.
Trimble may not be Russell Westbrook, but he possesses an incredible knack for attacking the rim, and does a tremendous job of finding open teammates when the defense collapses. When met at the basket, the guard can adequately adjust, either finishing or getting to the line. His 2.92 shuttle at the combine, fifth best overall, further demonstrates his elite ability to change both speed and direction at will.
Let’s also not forget, Trimble can catch fire. Last season, the guard scored at least 20 points in 13 games. In Maryland’s 74-64 win over Northwestern on February 15th, he finished with a career high 32 points on just 17 shots.
More than anything, Trimble exemplifies an ability to raise his game in big moments. While not always consistent, he possesses the skills and mind set to produce when absolutely needed. In the NCAA Tournament his sophomore season, Trimble averaged 20 points, 2.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds en route to a sweet 16 appearance. Heading into last year’s Big Ten Tournament, he sent the Spartans packing after drilling a deep three-point shot with 1.1 seconds on the clock.
For Philadelphia, they are getting a point guard who efficiently run the pick and roll, get the basket, and find open shooters. Trimble is also a constant threat to pull the trigger from deep. Though his numbers may have dipped following his freshman season, his shot is fluid and taken with confidence. Should he make the roster, Trimble will provide the 76ers with crucial depth at both the point guard and shooting guard positions.