In the 2012 NBA Draft, Boston Celtics fans were left shaking their heads in disbelief and disappointment as their teams selected center Fab Melo with the 22nd overall pick. Melo has legitimate NBA size, but even in college he never really showed any potential of ever being an effective NBA center.
After his rookie season, Melo still hasn’t shown any signs of becoming an effective player in this league. He played only six games in the NBA last season and averaged only 1.2 points and 0.5 rebounds in six minutes per game. In fact, Melo averaged the same number of fouls per game that he did points per game last season.
Melo spent most of his time in the NBA D-League last season and even there he wasn’t great. In 33 games he averaged only 9.8 points and six rebounds in 26.2 minutes per game, though he did average an impressive 3.1 blocks per game. Still, Melo looked a long way away from coming into the NBA and making an impact.
The underwhelming play from Melo continued at the Orlando Summer League this year. In five games he averaged only 6.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 18.2 minutes per game. Considering the competition at Summer League, Melo’s production didn’t leave anyone raving over his play and potential.
Despite all of the signs to the contrary, though, Melo may actually see consistent minutes at center for the Celtics this season. As Boston is beginning a full rebuild, they don’t have a lot of depth at the center position. As of right now, rookie Kelly Olynyk, Brazilian signing Vitor Faverani and Melo are the only centers on their roster. Considering that none of those three are proven, that means they could be splitting time at the five this season.
It’s pretty well-known at this point that the Celtics’ goal for the upcoming season is to be awful and tank the season. Playing Melo will certainly help them do that. Even with that, though, it’s going to be strange seeing a player with as few prospects as Fab Melo trotting onto the floor consistently wearing Celtics’ green.