- Green Street - http://greenstreet.weei.com -

Celtics, for the last time: Vitor Faverani

One of the most unpredictable Celtics seasons [1] in recent memory begins Wednesday, and in order to determine the likelihood of each player reaching his full potential, we’ll be examining them individually in this year’s Green Street preview with one form of this question in mind: “When’s the last time ‘€¦ ?” Next up: Vitor Faverani.

When’s the last time an undrafted foreign-born rookie took the NBA world by storm?

Vitor Faverani arrived in Boston as a relative unknown, immediately announced his love of “physical plays, passes, dunks and pick-and-roll” [2] and emerged from the postseason as a fantasy sleeper pick.

His 36-minute averages this October: 16.9 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.9 blocks. El Hombre Indestructible, indeed.

Is it possible all 30 teams simply missed the next Anderson Varejao as the Brazilian big man went unnoticed in the 2009 NBA draft, played just 15 minutes a night for four seasons in the Spanish league and sat behind Varejao, Nene and Tiago Splitter on the national team? Generally, 7-footers don’t take scouts by surprise.

Jose Calderon proved undrafted foreign-born players groomed overseas can make an immediate impact in the NBA, but it’s unprecedented for big men. Only three players of that ilk have ever “contributed” to a playoff run as a rookie, and all did so in the past few years — a sign of the times as the influx of Eurobasket players has increased.

Mirza Teletovic appeared in 53 games for the Nets [3] last year, but played all of one minute in Brooklyn’s first-round loss to the Bulls. Timofey Mozgov actually started the Knicks opener in 2010-11, played himself into the Carmelo Anthony deal and missed the final month of the Nuggets playoff run with a knee injury. And the Celtics [4] dumped Semih Erden on a miserable Cavaliers [5] team midway through that same season.

Meanwhile, Gustavo Ayon averaged 5.9 points and 4.9 boards in 20.1 minutes a night for a Hornets team that could afford the luxury of such a player adjusting to the NBA in 2011-12. Likewise, Hamed Haddadi and Vyacheslav Kravtsov made no impact for the lottery-bound 2008-09 Grizzlies [6] and 2012-13 Pistons, respectively.

And that’s it. Unless Faverani is truly unique, which he and his mohawk may very well be, his ceiling is Mozgovian.

Click on the links below to check out the “When’s the last time ‘€¦ ?” questions for other Celtics.

Kelly Olynyk: When’€™s the last time a middle-of-the-pack draft pick won NBA Rookie of the Year honors? [7]
Gerald Wallace [8]: When’€™s the last time a declining over-30 former All-Star enjoyed a career resurgence? [9]
Avery Bradley [10]: When’€™s the last time a player emerged as a defensive standout, then made offensive leap? [11]