Fab Melo, the former Syracuse University center, was selected in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft on Thursday night by the Boston Celtics. Melo, a 7-foot, 274-pound sophomore, was the 22nd overall selection.
The Celtics, quite obviously, were looking to improve their frontcourt. Using the 21st pick overall Boston took Ohio State power forward Jared Sullinger one selection prior to tabbing Melo.
SI.com offered this instant analysis:
"Celtics president Danny Ainge went for the risk pick with Sullinger, and now he takes the big man whose value is easy to assess. Melo is huge, and he defends the rim. If he develops an offensive game, that will be a bonus. But he's the sort of paint-clogging big man who would come in handy for any team."
Melo improved dramatically in his sophomore season with the Orange. After playing just 9.9 minutes per game and averaging 2.3 points and 1.9 rebounds per game as a freshman, Melo played 25.4 minutes per game last season, scoring 7.8 points per game, grabbing 5.8 rebounds and blocking an average of 2.9 shots per game.
NBA.com says "Big man is a project for sure, but has considerable payoff."