The Houston Rockets have traded forward Ryan Anderson and guard De’Anthony Melton to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for forward Marquese Chriss and guard Brandon Knight.
“We are excited to welcome Ryan Anderson and De’Anthony Melton to Phoenix,” said Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough. “Ryan has established himself as one of the league’s best shooters and we think he’ll be a great fit in our offensive system. De’Anthony is a talented young guard who stood out for us throughout the pre-Draft process and at the NBA Summer League.”
“We’d like to thank Brandon and Marquese for their contributions to the Suns franchise over the past few seasons. We wish them the best of luck as they begin the next chapter of their careers with the Rockets.”
Knight (6-3, 195) was originally the eighth overall pick by Detroit in the 2011 NBA Draft. In six seasons played, he has averaged 15.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists. Knight also hit at least 100 3-pointers in five of those six seasons.
Over a three-season span from 2013-14 through 2015-16, Knight was one of 11 players to have averaged at least 18.0 points, 5.0 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.00 steals. James Harden and Chris Paul were two of the other players on that list.
Chriss (6-10, 240) was the eighth overall pick by Sacramento in the 2016 NBA Draft before his rights were acquired by Phoenix. He appeared in all 82 games with 75 starts in 2016-17 and earned NBA All-Rookie Second Team honors.
In two seasons with the Suns, Chriss averaged 8.5 points and 4.8 rebounds in 21.2 minutes per game. He joined Kevin Durant and LeBron James as the only players under the age of 21 by February 1st of their second season to have totaled at least 1,300 points, 700 rebounds, 100 blocks, 100 steals, and 100 3-pointers made within their first two seasons.
Anderson, a 6-10, 240-pound forward, is a 10-year NBA veteran who holds career averages of 12.8 points and 5.4 rebounds while making 2.1 three-pointers per game on 38.2 percent shooting from long range. He has played in 622 career games with New Jersey (2008-09), Orlando (2009-2012), New Orleans (2012-2016) and Houston (2016-2018), in addition to 46 career playoff appearances. One of the most productive “stretch fours” in NBA history, Anderson’s 1,315 career three-pointers are the third-most ever by a player 6-10 or taller, trailing only Dirk Nowitzki and Rashard Lewis.
The 2011-12 NBA Most Improved Player Award winner, Anderson is one of just two players to average at least two three-point makes per game in each of the last eight seasons, joined only by Golden State’s Stephen Curry. Last season, the 30-year-old averaged 9.3 points and 5.0 rebounds while making 2.0 three-pointers on 38.6 percent three-point shooting in 66 games (50 starts) to help the Rockets to a franchise record 65 wins and a berth in the Western Conference Finals.
Anderson entered the NBA after being selected by New Jersey with the 21st overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. The Sacramento native played two seasons collegiately at the University of California, earning First Team All-Pac-10 honors in 2007-08 after leading the conference with 21.1 points per game.
Melton, a 6-4, 200-pound guard, was selected by the Rockets with the 46th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. The 20-year-old tied for the lead at NBA Summer League 2018 with 3.0 steals per game, in addition to averaging 16.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists. He was the only rookie, and one of just three players overall, to average at least 15 points, seven boards and four assists at NBA Summer League 2018. Melton’s best performance came on July 9 against the LA Clippers when he posted 26 points, 10 rebounds and five assists while making 5-of-10 three-point attempts.
Melton played one season at the University of Southern California before entering the NBA. As a freshman in 2016-17, he averaged 8.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.0 blocks while leading the Pac-12 and tying a USC freshman record with 69 steals. Melton became the first freshman in all of Division I basketball to record at least 300 points, 150 rebounds, 100 assists, 60 steals and 35 blocks since Dwyane Wade did so for Marquette in 2001-02.
A native of North Hollywood, California, Melton led Crespi High School in Encino, California to back-to-back state titles in 2015 and 2016.