The Celtics headed into the season really needing help at center. Unfortunately, they exited the season really needing help at center.
For a moment or two it seemed that Ainge had unearthed a real gem in Vitor Faverani. He had legit 7 footer size, decent touch with the basketball, and even outside range. He was a veteran of the Spanish league so he was experienced enough to know his way around a basketball court. In short, he was everything Fab Melo was not.
Things started out well too. In the home opener he had 12 points, 18 rebounds, and 6 blocks and Vitor-fever was in full effect. Sadly, that was his peak for the season. Obviously nobody reasonably expected those kind of stats with regularity. But I counted myself among those that were cautiously optimistic that we had found ourselves a solid rotation player.
Either the scouting reports caught up to him or the pace of the game passed him by because his play and playing time fell off. In short, El Hombre Indestructible became El Hombre Invisible. DNP's turned into assignments to Maine to get playing time and then he got hurt and missed the last 3 months of the season.
So what now? If all he becomes is a failed experiment, the cost of the experiment wasn't all that great. He didn't cost us a draft pick and his salary is just $2M a year (next year is the last guaranteed year). He might become salary matching trade fodder or in a worst case scenario he could be waived.
Still, call me an overoptimistic homer if you like, I'm still holding out hope that he can be a useful backup center in this league. Assuming he's healthy again he'll likely get another crack at learning Brad Stevens' system in training camp. He'll even have the benefit (hopefully) of playing with Rajon Rondo. I think it is well worth it to bring him back and see what he can do.
Vitor has a fun personality and looks the part of a serviceable backup center. I feel like we only got a taste of what he could be. I hope he gets a chance and proves his worth next season.