NBA Draft Player Profile: Fab Melo

{Editor's note: FP'd and added video}

What a Fabulous and memorable name. We already have a "Melo" in the NBA...then we get Fab to go with it. It just screams...bust.

Alright, so maybe I'm biased on some of these...but that's why I'm a fan. The more I read about this guy, the less I like. Sure, there's bound to be some logical fallacy on my part...but hey, I'm honest about it.

What to like:

He's a legit 7'0 center with a massive 255lb frame. He has a 7'2.5" wingspan and a 9'1.5" standing reach. The guy is massive. Was a great zone defender for Syracuse last year and is a legit shot blocking threat (nearly 3 per game) down low. Offensively, has a nearly unblockable sky hook and a decent turn around. He knows where his range is...and makes sure that he stays in that range. Does not try to shoot the ball outside of his range. For his mass, he actually runs the floor fairly well and he's actually a fairly decent passer too. Was pretty good on the offensive glass grabbing 2.7 per game and rarely turns the ball over with 1.4 per game. He hit 56.6% of his shots and took every shot inside the arc. His 63.3% from the FT line, while not ideal, is not exactly dangerous territory. He's certainly better than Shaq.

What's not to like:

His hands are kind of smallish for a man his size. In fact, of the 4 centers coming out (O'Quinn, Henry Sims, and Andrew Nicholson being the other three) he's got the smallest hands. He's only good on offense from 5' out. He'd be a good pick setter, but he is still sort of a lumbering giant...and doesn't show an explosive leap that would make him a great finisher in the PnR game. Also, his conditioning (while improved) has been a huge question mark. It was remarkably better last year than it was his Freshman year, but he still showed up at the combine with 9.2% body fat. All of those things, though, are easily correctable with proper coaching. Despite his massive frame, he really was not a standout rebounder. In fact, his 3.2 defensive rebounds per game was quite atrocious. Some of this was because of what he was asked to do defensively (focus on altering/blocking shots and/or take charges). It put him out of position to grab the rebounds, but he should still have been able to get more than 3 per game.

The Domestic Violence charge and being academically ineligible for the tournament...those are signs of other issues...that run much deeper than coaching. On court I can live with. Everyone has on court deficiencies. It's the off court deficiencies that scare me more than anything else. Domestic violence shows a lack of self control. Academically ineligible has it's own set of maturity issues as well as lending towards the belief that the kid is either lazy or just doesn't care enough about his team to do all the little things necessary for success. Yes, those are more on the extreme side...and each incident by itself might not mean much or could be easily explained away. However, the two combined, present a problem that might be greater than the sum of the parts.

*********UPDATE for his Domestic Violence***********

Basically, argument with girlfriend and he broke her turn signal. That being said, it still shows a lack of control. Better he damage a car than a person it's a slight upgrade. Was his first every violation of the law...and is basically going to be dropped clean from his record so long as he doesn't get in trouble over the next 90 days.


Ultimately: The kid is still very raw. His conditioning (and with it) his motor has improved. If Chris Gant takes a flyer on him at #24 (because I seriously doubt he slips to the second round) then I'll believe the question marks have essentially been answered by his overall improvement. Certainly, having Anderson Varejao around to show him the ropes (and the conditioning needed to be effective at the NBA level) would certainly help the young Brazilian. And...with him on the court, Andy could play the 4 (when we go against bigger teams) and guard some of the tougher 4's in the league (a la guys like Kevin Love, Kevin Garnett, Carlos Boozer when he wants to play). By the time Andy is on his downside, this kid could prove he's the real deal.

If I'm a GM, I don't know that I take a flyer on this guy until the 2nd round though. His upside is certainly present...but man if he isn't really raw. I don't know how long it'll take before he actually sees his real potential realized. And by then, who knows where the Cavs would be at.

This is a Fan-Created Comment on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff at FearTheSword

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