You know you want to see this next year. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Fab Melo (True name, he's Brazilian), is a true seven footer, a rarity in the league today. Fab Melo is only 21, considering he would be a junior if he stayed for another year. Fab's averages are decent for a big man, but what makes him shine is his blocking ability: 8 PPG, 6 RPG, and 3 BPG. While those numbers do not sound like a gold mine, a seven footer that has proven he can keep up with other bigs is hard to obtain, especially at a low pay rate. Alas, his grades were not up to snuff at Syracuse, and earned Melo a fat, cold slice of the pine while the rest of his team stormed to the Elite Eight, where they lost to Ohio State. There was a serious chance that Fab Melo, along with the rest of Syracuse, winning the NCAA tournament. The loss of Fab Melo, the Big East's Defensive Player of the Year, threw that chance down the drain. However, his post moves helped Syracuse earn a 17-1 conference record and a 34-3 record overall. Here's just a sample of what Fab has proven he can do:
When the Lamar Odom trade was announced soon after the Chris Paul mega deal, a note was made that the 2012 first round pick of the Mavericks would be sent to the Los Angeles Lakers as compensation. Even with the pick being protected if it landed in the top 20 of the draft, almost every critic dismissed the possibility of the defending champions not having one of the premier records in their conference, if not the league. A few months later, and now looking hapless after being swept by the Thunder, the Dallas Mavericks will defer the first round pick to next year. However, Donnie Nelson has to prepare the war room for the future Maverick (or $3 million for the pick), and throw Fab Melo to be that future Maverick; he's a possible diamond in the rough that the Mavs can't refuse.
Fab Melo Highlight Mix (via swishscout)
However, we also must count his errors. Although Fab is a defensive-first player, his scoring can improve. His assists are almost non existent, with less than 1 APG seen from him, This is in contrast to 2.5 APG being the league average for big men in Division I basketball. Scouts have noticed that his fundamentals, such as not shooting the ball quickly or indifference in passing, needs to improve, and there is no better school for fundamentals than in the NBA. The scouts have also noticed that Fab Melo is light for a center in the NBA, checking in at 255 pounds. Fab would need to bulk up by at least 20 pounds, akin to another Mav: Brandan Wright. Melo will have a lot of time to improve though, since he isn't a dire need. (We need Deron now!)
All in all, Fab Melo can be seen as a reach. Most drafts have him about the 23 or 24th slot of the 2012 NBA Draft. I see a big future for Fab Melo in the NBA, and it is up to our real GM to make such a choice. Am I wacky for thinking his? Totally agree? Put on your GM cap and post below.