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Fab Melo: 21 years old; 7’0″; 255 lbs
Background: Fab Melo made huge improvements in his game during his sophomore season at Syracuse. Melo was named Big East Defensive Player of the Year and was the anchor of Syracuse’s zone. He enters the NBA as a well polished rebounder and shot blocker after averaging 5.8 rebounds and 2.9 blocks last season.
On the offensive end Melo is still very raw. The majority of his touches last season were made up of offensive rebounds and cuts. Despite frequently being the fifth option on the floor for the Syracuse Orange, Melo showed the ability to finish at the rim and converted 63% of the time in the post. Melo is still a very limited shooter anywhere outside of right below the rim.
Does Melo Fit the Celtics?
In one word: Yes! The Celtics have a gaping hole at the Center position and with two picks in the first round you can bet they will take hard look at any big men available. Melo’s biggest strength, besides his size, is his defense and he would fit perfectly with a defensive oriented team like the Celtics. Had Melo not been suspended for the NCAA tournament he would have likely been a lottery pick, so if the Celtics can get him with pick 21 or 22 they should be smitten.
Odds Melo is in Celtic Green Next Season: 80%
This years draft has so many talented centers that we could see five go within the first 20 picks. Most draft experts have Melo rated anywhere between the fourth and sixth best center on the board. If the draft holds true then Melo should still be on the board when the Celtics pick.
Fab Melo is a lottery talent, but is also a project pick. His ceiling is high, but he could also turn into the next Kwame Brown or worse. Defensively Melo is ready to come in and play 30-35 minuets a night, but offensively he is far from ready. If the Celtics draft Melo it could be a perfect situation. If the Celtics can resign Kevin Garnett then they could use Melo in a reserve role and only play him more limited minutes a night to allow him to develop offensively. In just two seasons under Jim Boeheim, Melo made tremendous strides and could grow much more under Doc Rivers and Garnett.