We're profiling every player on the Celtics roster before the season begins. Today it's Fab Melo.
7-feet, 255 pounds, 22-years-old
2012/13 salary: $1.25 million
Strengths: Melo has the raw skills and size that made him worth a first-round pick. He's a good shot-blocker, and he's shown at a young age that he can take instruction and improve his game in a short amount of time. The 22-year-old moved from Brazil to Florida when he was 17. He'd only started playing basketball two years earlier.
Room to improve: Everywhere. That sounds like a cop-out (believe me, I see your e-mails), but it's the truth. Melo isn't ready to contribute to the Celtics right now. He needs seasoning on both sides of the ball, but especially on the offensive end. There should be a sizable adjustment for Melo in learning Boston's defensive scheme after sitting in the middle of Syracuse's 2-3 zone and swatting shots.
Projections for 2012/13: 25 games, 1.8 points, 2.1 rebounds. 0.7 blocks
Outlook: Melo should spend some time with the Maine Red Claws, and there's nothing wrong with that. It's hard to see Doc Rivers inserting him into the rotation unless the Celtics suffer a couple of injuries in the frontcourt. Despite what most Celtics fans would want, Darko Milicic will likely be ahead of Melo on the depth chart. But give Melo time; he's an exciting prospect who is by all accounts eager to learn.