Giving up on Fab Melo: The Reality of the NBA Draft

Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

The Boston Celtics have given up on the development of Fab Melo but the reality of the NBA is that not every draft pick will work out.

Despite the fact many Boston Celtics fans are overjoyed to see "the bust" Fab Melo get sent away to the Memphis Grizzlies, it has become apparent that there are just as many fans disgruntled that the organization gave up on his potential so soon. Whether it was about saving money, or it was actually a pure basketball move, a lot of fans simply weren't ready to give up a on player that was just drafted in the first round of the 2012 draft.

I'm with you; it's not ideal to see Fab get sent away so soon. I have criticized his game and he has been the bud of many of my jokes, but it's not often you see 7-footers with his size and raw tools on the court. To see Fab sent away for virtually nothing -- sorry, Donte Greene -- you might feel like it wasn't worth making the draft pick in the first place.

Don't feel that way. The Celtics have essentially given up on Fab Melo but that doesn't necessarily make the draft pick a catastrophic mistake. After all, draft picks, especially those made after the lottery, are a total crapshoot. There is no guarantee of success with any players.

That's the main reason why Danny Ainge has accumulated nine first round draft picks over the next five years. He understands that no matter how much scouting an organization does, there are no guarantees in the draft. Ainge knows that he will miss on some selections, but he will hit on plenty of them, too.

In the coming years, Ainge will draft his share of bad players like Fab Melo, JaJuan Johnson, J.R. Giddens, and Justin Reed. But he will also draft quality players like Jared Sullinger, Tony Allen, Al Jefferson, and Avery Bradley.

Sure, that's a mixed bag of draft picks, but if Danny Ainge is able to draft four or five successful players, it would mean he'd have hit on at least one draft pick every single year over the next five years. Think of the NBA Draft like the game of poker. Of course, there is an element of skill involved, like there is with scouting the draft; but it's just as much about chance and luck of the draw, just like with the success of the actual draft selections.

For every Fab Melo, there is a Jared Sullinger; just like for every LeBron James and Tim Duncan, there is a Michael Olowokandi and Greg Oden. Mistakes in the NBA draft are made by every single team, not just the Boston Celtics.

It's disappointing to see the "Melo Era" end so soon, but the reality of the draft means that there will be players picked just like him as Danny Ainge rebuilds the organization. The key is to take the missed selections in stride, and build on the successful draft picks that will be coming to Boston in the coming years.

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