Fab Melo: Highlights, Analysis and Pro Projections
Fab Melo is a solid shot-blocker and interior presence, but he doesn't have a ton of offensive skills. Melo was a key contributor to the Syracuse Orange's great regular season in the 2011-2012 campaign. But he didn't play in the NCAA tournament due to a suspension based on eligibility, and the team missed his size.
Melo is a legit seven-footer with a long wingspan, and the Syracuse zone was not the same without him. He averaged 7.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.9 blocks in his sophomore season.
He made himself eligible for the draft on April 5, and the move didn't surprise me coming off the suspension. The Brazilian-born Melo is already 21 years old, so leaving school early only made sense.
ESPN's Chad Ford has Melo listed as the fourth-best center in the draft, behind Meyers Leonard. As of right now, I'd say Melo is more equipped to contribute than Leonard, but Leonard has tons more upside.
Melo's size and defensive ability make him a bit of a commodity and will keep him on NBA teams' radars.
Here is a scouting report on Melo, highlighting his strengths and weaknesses.
(Height, weight and stats per statsheet.com)
Weight: 244 pounds
Date of Birth: June 2, 1990
Best NBA Position: Center
College Stats: 7.8 PPG, 25.4 MPG, 56.6 FG%, 0 3FG%, 63.3 FT%, 0.7 APG, 5.8 RPG, 2.9 BPG, 0.5 SPG
Ball Handling - C
Post Game: C+
Basketball IQ: C
Legit seven-footers with good mobility will always have a spot in the NBA, and that is certainly Melo's ticket. He uses his length to be a force in the middle on defense, and to create second-chance opportunities for his team
Melo has good mobility and athleticism and he finishes strong near the basket.
He does have the vision to become a decent passer from the post area, but many of his offensive skills are extremely raw and under-developed.
Take a look at Melo at his best in these highlights:
What team should draft Melo?
Melo is not a superb athlete, so his upside isn't very high. Any improvement will likely have to come from his understanding of the game, which right now is fairly low.
He doesn't handle the ball well at all. He can't make an NBA-caliber dribble-drive move to the basket, and he has very limited post moves. The best thing Melo can do to improve on offense is to develop a mid-range jump shot.
That weapon is attainable, and it would give him a contribution on offense besides the offensive glass and lobs.
His defense and length will get him on the floor early in the NBA, but I don't think he'll ever develop much of an offensive repertoire.
NBA Player Comparison
Asik has found success with the Chicago Bulls because he protects the rim, rebounds and plays his role happily. He has great size, he plays strong and keeps himself in great shape.
This past season Asik averaged three points, five rebounds and a block per game in only 14 minutes of action. With a starter's minutes, Asik would be close to a double-double guy, with almost three blocks per game, and a candidate for the All-Defensive team.
That said, Asik is a horrible offensive player. His contributions on that end of the floor are almost exclusively limited to dunks.
He stands seven-feet tall and weighs 255 pounds.
Asik and Melo compare in many ways. The size, defensive acumen and ineptitude on offense. If Asik or Melo are surrounded with players that make their inability to score less of a factor, they can be great assets.
If Melo is to reach his potential, he'll need to land in that type of situation.
Late first round.
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