|NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Syracuse C Fab Melo||06.12.12 at 9:42 am ET|
As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.
Height: 7 feet
Weight: 255 pounds
Achievements: Big East Defensive Player of the Year (2012), Preseason Big East Rookie of the Year (2010-11), McDonald’s High School All-American (2010)
Key 2011-12 stats: 7.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.9 blocks
What he brings: Melo’s most impressive traits are his size, rebounding and shot-blocking ability. He displays decent mobility and jumping ability but lacks the elite athleticism of fellow center prospects Meyers Leonard and Andre Drummond.
Offensively, Melo is extremely raw and is still learning the game. He does not project to be a superstar at the next level, but given the dearth of big men who can run the floor, he is an intriguing option.
Where the Celtics could get him: Projections have Melo going somewhere in the 15-25 range, which is right where the Celtics reside with two picks.
Notes: Melo made enormous strides in his second season at Syracuse before being held out of three games in January due to an unspecified academic issue and then being ruled ineligible for the NCAA tournament. He also had a domestic violence issue in 2011. After breaking the turn signal on his girlfriend’s car, he was charged with criminal mischief. If he remains out of trouble through November, he’ll have a clean record. Melo, who grew up in Brazil, did not start playing competitive basketball until the ninth grade. He attended high school in Florida (near Miami) his junior and senior years.
Video: Here’s a Melo highlight mix.
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