With veteran journeymen D.J. White and Shavlik Randolph now on the Boston Celtics roster the team has decided to send rookie Fab Melo back down to the NBA Developmental League, ESPN’s Chris Forsberg reports. The rookie seven-footer only appeared in five games during his time with the Celtics, scoring a total of five points and grabbing only one rebound in limited mop-up minutes with Boston.
Returning to the D-League is the best move for Melo and will allow him to further develop his game with playing time. While practicing with the Celtics and learning under Kevin Garnett on a daily basis may have been beneficial for Melo, honing his skills during real-time game situations will help speed along Melo’s learning curve and propel him to becoming a key piece of the Celtics’ future.
Melo has been dominant at times in his D-League appearances, with performances such as scoring 32 points with nine rebounds and nine blocks back in December a game after registering a triple-double with 15 points, 16 blocks and a whopping 14 blocks. Melo’s interior defense will be a welcomed addition to the undersized Celtics lineup that has been without a post defender since the Kendrick Perkins trade.
Grooming Melo in the D-League now may also pay dividends come playoff time. If Melo can continue to develop rapidly, the Celtics can add him to the playoff roster for some much-needed shot blocking in the post season. With all the injuries the Celtics have fallen victim to this season, they’ll need all the healthy bodies they can get.