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2018 NBA Draft: De’Anthony Melton is the first Trojan off the board

The Houston Rockets selected Melton with the the 46th overall pick in the second round

Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Former USC guard De’Anthony Melton was chosen by the Houston Rockets with the 46th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Melton did not play for the Trojans this past season because the school elected to hold him out due to his connection with the FBI probe into illegal recruiting. Following the announcement that the move would last the entirety of the season, he withdrew from the school. Melton himself was never deemed to have committed any infractions.

Dave Elliott, a family friend of Melton, took money from agent Andy Miller at ASM Sports, funneled through then-USC assistant coach Tony Bland. Bland has since been fired from USC, and Melton says he has cut all ties with Elliott.

As a freshman in 2016-2017, Melton averaged just over eight points per game. He led the Pac-12 with an average of 1.9 steals, and was ninth in the conference in assists as well.

He is widely regarded as NBA-ready on the defensive end, though a work in progress offensively. CBS Sports ranked him the 24th best player in this draft class.

Melton played his high school basketball not far from USC in the San Fernando Valley at Crespi High School. He was the seventh highest rated recruit from California in his high school class.

With the Rockets, he’ll have superstars Chris Paul and James Harden in front of him to learn from under Mike D’Antoni