The 2013-14 Boston Celtics season came with plenty of ups and downs and twists and turns. It saw a changing of the guard from Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Rajon Rondo. They went from being one of the most elite teams in the East to dropping to one of the worst in the league. It was essentially a season of turning over to the future, with plenty of new faces being brought in.
One of those faces is Brazilian big man Vitor Faverani.
Faverani, now 26, was eligible for the 2009 NBA Draft but went undrafted. During the 2013 offseason (July 22 to be exact), the Boston Celtics took a gamble on the big guy, and signed him to a three-year, $6 million contract. At the time, Boston needed help at the center position, and Faverani brought just that.
The 6’11” rookie appeared in 37 games for the Celtics, and began the season being bounced around from the starting lineup to the bench. In his first regular season appearance, Faverani dropped 13 points on 4-of-9 shooting in 27 minutes. In his next games, 12 points were scored by the big man, along with 18 rebounds and six blocks. Immediately, people began to believe that Faverani could be a serious difference maker for Boston that season.
Unfortunately, Vitor would only break double digits in scoring twice more the rest of the season, as he found himself spending several stints with the Maine Red Claws, a D-League affiliate of the Celtics. Knee surgery eventually cut his rookie year short, as he spent the rest of the season rehabbing.
Through his rookie season, Faverani showed flashes of skill, and began to justify the signing. But the big question remains is what can Faverani bring Boston come his sophomore season?
Well, the position of starting center is still up for grabs. Jared Sullinger, Kris Humphries, Kelly Olynyk, and Faverani all started at center for Boston last season, but no one truly justified a long term hold on the spot. Sullinger is almost guaranteed a starting job next year at either power forward or center following his impressive sophomore season where he drew comparisons to Kevin Love.
Olynyk showed that he has the skills to compete in the NBA, but whether he is ready for a starting job is still up in the air. Kris Humphries may have been one of the Celtics’ best players all season, and if re-signed, he could be in position to grab hefty minutes either off the bench or in a starting role.
That leaves Vitor, who even after his rookie season is still a bit of a mystery; he has the size to compete at center (6’11”, 260 pounds) and showed an ability to pull down rebounds (3.5 rebounds per game in just more than 13 minutes of play). Per 36 minutes, Faverani’s numbers came out to 12.1 points, 9.4 rebounds, and two blocks per game. Not too bad for a rookie.
It’s still unclear how Boston’s lineup will look come this fall, especially since both the draft and free agency have yet to occur, but Vitor Faverani could be in play for some bigger minutes come next season. Poised with size and skill, he could be an x-factor for the Celtics’ next year.