As of now Fab Melo is under a non guaranteed contract with the Mavs. However given that the Mavs currently have 15 guaranteed contracts on the roster, Melo is clearly a d-league addition at the moment. This does not mean that the Mavs’ future plans do not include him. They may have an idea that he might potentially prove to be a valuable member of the team in the future if he can get his game up to NBA-level production.
One thing to look into though, what are the chances of Fab Melo building up his production to an NBA level that would get him minutes and presumably a guaranteed contract in the NBA (whether it be Dallas or elsewhere)
Here are Melo’s numbers from his first season with the Boston Celtics
36 minutes played
0.021 Win Shares per 48 minutes
These are abysmal numbers, but you can point to his minutes played and say it wasn’t so bad, He only got 36 total minutes for an entire season, and had only 6 games played. One can consider his college performance to try to gauge how well he will do in the NBA. Fab Melo only had one season in college where he played a total of 1090 minutes and his scoring average was very low (4.9ppg and 3.8 rpg) For a big man with size (7 feet and 255 lbs) Melo has to produce better when given minutes.
His best comparison from recent NBA draft history is Byron Mullins who is slightly bigger than Melo (7 feet 275 lbs) and had similarly small college and NBA numbers in his first 2 years. Mullins’ saving grace was his trade to the Charlotte Bobcats where he was finally able to get playing time after being stuck on a deep strong Oklahoma City Thunder team that featured Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins getting the majority of the big man minutes.
Fab Melo had a similar situation to contend with in Boston, where he was a rookie on a team that was playing for one more shot at a championship with a big man rotation that had no room for learning curves which are usually associated with rookies who don’t have much college experience.
So can Melo achieve the heights of Byron Mullins here in Dallas? It is impossible to know, he will most likely be a D-league player for the remainder of the season and will not get any time in Dallas unless an injury or unforeseen circumstance that nullifies a guaranteed contract (he would have to show more in the tank than Bernard James at the very least in order to get some run on Dallas’ regular season squad.)
Melo’s best chance is to catch the eye of some other executive and get a guaranteed contract on a BAD team where he can get playing time where he can learn the NBA game and get up to speed. His next guaranteed contract won’t come in Dallas though. At least not in the 2013-14 season.