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Who Knows What To Expect From Vitor Faverani?

The Celtics have an unknown commodity in Brazilian center Vitor Faverani. He might turn out to be a star; he might be a flop.

Even these guys aren't really sure.
Even these guys aren't really sure.

Why am I writing about Vitor Faverani? I'll be honest here - I don't know the first thing about him.

I know that Vitor Faverani is from Brazil. I know that Brazil is a major world economic power whose biggest exports include coffee. I know that coffee comes from beans that grow on evergreen shrubs. I know that botanists define a "shrub" as any plant that's less than 8 meters high and has many stems arising at or near the base.

OK, two blatant problems here - one, I didn't actually "know" any of those things, I just ganked them from Wikipedia, and two, I've gotten away from the main point and forgotten what I set out to write about.

Oh, right. Vitor Faverani.

Yeah. I don't know anything about Vitor Faverani, and I suspect you don't either. Neither do many of the media pundits out there charged with speculating about him, and past a certain point, neither does Danny Ainge, probably.

Not that the Celtics didn't do their homework on Faverani to some extent. I'm sure they looked into his resume - they know that he broke into Spanish pro ball at 17 and began playing for Clínicas Rincón Axarquía, the farm team of CB Málaga, and he bounced around for a few years before eventually being promoted to the big leagues. Last year, he played 23 games for Valencia Basket of the Spanish ACB, averaging 9.3 points and 4.6 rebounds.

That's all well and good, but the Celtics don't really know what they're getting from Faverani at the NBA level. They've watched some tape and looked over some stats, but they've still got a largely unknown quantity on their hands, and he's being thrust into an entirely foreign system with new teammates and a new coach. Faverani might be the next Brazilian star, another coming of Nene or Anderson Varejao; he might also be a bust. Until we see him take the floor, it's hard to say.

There's something exhilarating about that.

One beautiful thing about entering this post-Kevin Garnett, post-Paul Pierce Celtics era is that the team can afford to experiment a little bit. The stakes are lower this season - no one's fantasizing about winning a championship anytime soon, so the Celtics can afford to get a little speculative. They can take a long look at a guy like Vitor Faverani because there's plenty of reward and little risk. If Faverani pans out, Boston can build with him, but if not, Ainge hasn't lost much.

It's hard to believe, but it's been seven years since the Celtics began a season with expectations this low. Back in 2006, they had an incredibly young team and no delusions of a playoff run. They took the opportunity to throw a whole lot of young players out there, just to see who stuck.

Some (Allan Ray, Kevinn Pinkney) were forgotten. Others (Al Jefferson, Delonte West) became valuable trade assets. Still others (Tony Allen, Leon Powe) emerged as decent role players. A couple (Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins) turned into legitimate building blocks.

We don't yet know which of the above categories Vitor Faverani will eventually fall into, but it'll be an adventure to find out.

Brad Stevens has already commented a little bit about Faverani's profile. He spoke with the media last week and referred to the young prospect as "a skilled big," a player with post scoring ability and a bit of shooting range, also noting his considerable size (he's 6'11" and 235) and willingness to learn.

That's something. We're not totally in the dark about Faverani after all.

But boy, we sure don't know much.

We've got all season to find out.