How Fab can Melo be? Projecting the Boston Celtics' project player

USA TODAY Sports

Larry Bird isn't walking through that door. Kevin McHale isn't walking through that door. Fab Melo just walked into a door.

He's big, he's goofy, and he's as raw as they come. But he's our big goofball and he's our project. So how does he... project out?

We don't know much since we've really only seen him in summer league and a few garbage time games wearing a Celtics jersey. He's fared a lot better playing in Maine. This quick summary comes from CelticsTown's Exit Interviews series.

Exit Interviews: Fab Melo | Celtics Town

Your humorous exploits aside, you did make considerable strides in the D-League for a (relatively) new basketball player. In late December you set the D-League record for blocks in a game amidst a monster 15 point, 16 rebound, 14 block triple double. You were named to NBA D-League All-Rookie First team and (more importantly) the All-Defensive First Team as well. The real test will come this summer when you’ll have an opportunity to make a case for yourself during Summer League. Until then, keep practicing that jump shot and watch out for those sneaky doorways.

As far as I'm concerned this guy is all upside. I'm simultaneously optimistic about his future and completely not counting on anything from him. It is no lose for me.

You could argue that he was a waste of a first round pick. I say you have to remember the situation. We had two back-to-back picks and Jared Sullinger had just fallen into our laps at 21. Remove his back issues and he would have been a top 5 pick (and hopefully those back issues were removed with his surgery). So they could afford to take a flyer on a guy that was low risk, high reward at 22.

The guys they passed on? A number of people wanted to pick Perry Jones III or Arnette Moultrie. Or perhaps a backup point guard (Wroten Jr. or Teague) would have been more to some people's taste. Or maybe another project big man (Ezeli)?

Here are some quick stats for comparison sake.


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2012 - Fab Melo 6 5.8 0.5 1.0 50.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.7 25.0 0.0 0.5 0.5 0.0 0.2 0.3 0.3 1.2 1.2


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2012 - Jared Sullinger 45 19.8 2.5 5.0 49.3 0.0 0.1 20.0 1.0 1.4 74.6 2.0 3.8 5.9 0.8 0.6 0.5 0.5 3.4 6.0


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2012 - Perry Jones III 38 7.3 1.0 2.6 39.4 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.3 0.4 66.7 0.3 1.3 1.6 0.3 0.4 0.1 0.2 0.6 2.3


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2012 - Arnett Moultrie 47 11.5 1.7 2.9 58.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.4 0.6 64.3 1.6 1.5 3.1 0.2 0.4 0.4 0.2 0.9 3.7


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2012 - Tony Wroten 35 7.7 0.9 2.5 38.4 0.1 0.5 25.0 0.6 0.8 72.4 0.4 0.4 0.8 1.2 0.8 0.2 0.1 1.0 2.6


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2012 - Marquis Teague 48 8.1 0.9 2.4 38.1 0.1 0.5 17.4 0.2 0.3 56.3 0.1 0.9 0.9 1.3 0.7 0.2 0.1 1.0 2.1


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2012 - Festus Ezeli 78 14.4 0.9 2.2 43.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.6 1.0 53.1 1.8 2.2 4.0 0.3 0.8 0.3 0.9 2.0 2.4


I'll admit I'm no scout, but at first blush it doesn't seem like we missed out on anyone here. Sure, they all have better numbers than Fab, but none of them won Defensive Player of the Year in the D-League now did they?

I guess the point is that when you draft in the 20's, you take your chances. Ainge rolled the dice and he might lose this bet, but it didn't cost him much and it probably has a higher potential payout than the other long shot bets he could have made.

So what do you expect from Fab next year? Will he be playing minutes for the Celtics? Will he still be learning in the D-League? Or will he be jettisoned as trade fodder or a cap saving move?

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