The Celtics are reportedly signing Brazilian center Vitor Faverani, according to Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
The 6-foot-11, 25-year-old averaged 9.3 points and 4.6 rebounds on 59% shooting in only 17 minutes of action for Valencia of the Spanish ACB, typically considered the second-best professional league in the world, in 2012-2013. Faverani doesn’t look particularly big – his muscles and arms don’t look particularly toned like most NBA players – but according to those who’ve seen him play, he’s a very strong, physical player whose athleticism drives his game. He’s rather raw in his skill set, but don’t let that mistake you: the dude can play. From my limited YouTube research, Favernani appears to be a quick finisher at the hoop, a decent ball-handler for a big man off the dribble, and sports a nifty hook shot from the left side. He also has the wherewithal to adjust his shot mid-jump and finish with both hands. In terms of defense, I’ve got nothing, though his rebounding numbers may tell the entire story. His offensive game is supposed to be his better quality. Either way, with increased minutes his numbers would, in theory, also increase.
Faverani has won a championship as professional, and also plays for the Brazilian national team. At 25, he is entering his ninth season of professional basketball.
My comparison: make a Brandon Bass/Jeff Green hybrid with a high basketball IQ, even more athleticism, and make him 7 feet tall.
Something else to note, new Hawks rookie Lucas Nogueira spoke to CSNNE.com’s Jessica Camerato on Faverani
“He’s very good,” said Nogueira. “He’s a defensive and offensive player, but I think he’s offensively better. He has a lot of moves in the post. He’s had a great season in Spain last year. He’s strong but can jump, can run. He’s a great player.”
Something else that intrigues me about this deal is what it means for rising sophomore center Fab Melo. On one hand, the two could be a perfect compliment: Melo’s defense is terrific, anchoring the defense of one of the best teams in college basketball at Syracuse University before earning a First-Team All-Defense selection in his first season as a professional for the Celtics’ NBA D-League affiliate Maine Red Claws. Melo is a project, but a veteran like Faverani, who reigns from Melo’s home country of Brazil and has won championships overseas, may be very beneficial for the youngster.
On the other hand, Celtics brass loves Shavlik Randolph, whose option has to be picked up or revoked by August 1st. With the addition of promising rookie Kelly Olynyk, there may not be room (or money, presuming the Celtics don’t want to go over the luxury tax threshold with a rebuilding team) to keep Melo, let alone four centers, on the roster.
Danny Ainge definitely likes Melo, but he’s a project. With the addition of Faverani, it may just be time to cut him loose and let someone else reap his potential benefits.
Here’s some video of Faverani last season from Valencia: