Vitor Faverani: Another off-season steal for The Celtic front office?
After Wednesday night's very solid pre-season performance Vitor Faverani just may have played his way into Brad Stevens starting lineup on opening night October 30th in Toronto. Faverani totaled 15 points, seven rebounds and a game-high six blocked shots in the Celtics' 101-97 win over the Nets.
According to Celtics insider A. Sherrod Blakely, Brad Stevens, was impressed enough with Vitor to speculate:
"I don't know when Jared (Sullinger) comes back if we'll start Jared or bring him off the bench," Stevens said. "But I think generally we needed more length on the interior."
Faverani's most eye opening stat against Brooklyn was his six blocked shots considering his defense was one of the big question marks surrounding the Brazilian born big man entering the season:
The scouting report from those who have watched Faverani overseas is nearly universal: a skilled and athletic offensive player but a question mark on the defensive end.
That’s confirmed by the advanced stats from his play overseas. In 34 games for Valencia last season, Faverani averaged 0.976 points per play (324 points over 332 plays), which ranked him in the 72nd percentile among all international players, according to Synergy Sports data. His post numbers won’t wow you (0.888 ppp), but he thrived last season in the pick-and-roll (1.2 ppp) and off of offensive rebounds (1.361 ppp). He’s prone to turnovers, but his offensive skills are obvious.
The only thing that some fans might find somewhat dubious about "El Hombre's Indestructible's" performance against Brooklyn is that Brook Lopez, as well as Jason Kidd's other projected opening night starters, did not play in this game.
It's one thing to be the only legitimate big man on the floor allowing Faverani the ability to rotate off his man for blocks. But, it's quite another, to bang with a legitimate NBA seven footer like Lopez.
Not a problem according to one Western Conference scout as ESPN Boston reported:
“He has got an NBA frame and great wingspan. He is pretty athletic and likes to work on the defensive end of the floor. He has good feet and he is good in (pick-and-roll) defense.
“He is active, can block shots from the weak side and likes to bang. This is where his nickname “El Hombre Indestructible” comes from.
The really great news for Celtic fans, besides potentially having found the inside presence that's been lacking for the team ever since the Kendrick Perkins trade, is that Boston has Faverani under contract for a virtual steal in NBA dollars:
Faverani has reportedly agreed to a deal that’s worth $6 million over 3 years… but Hoopsworld puts the deal a 4 years, $9 million and has it structured like a typical rookie contract with two guaranteed years, a non-guaranteed 3rd year, and a qualifying offer for a 4th year. So it’s unclear exactly what the contract is worth at the moment. Really, the only difference between the two is the 4th-year qualifying offer heading into restricted free agency.
Matter of fact, with Kelly Olynyk thus far being considered the steal of the draft and Phil Pressey's impressive play at the point guard position, the future might show that The Celtics had as good an off season as almost any team in the league.
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