The Celtics have signed 7-foot-7 Tacko Fall to a one-year deal, and plenty of people will be ready to tune in and watch one of this year’s most interesting prospects — should he make the final 15-man roster.
Fall, a UCF product, was not selected in the 2019 NBA Draft, but he was impressive enough in the summer league to extend his basketball future. He thanked Boston for the opportunity to develop via Twitter after landing his deal Thursday.
Excited to be part of the Celtics’ organization. It’s the beginning of seeing my dream come true. There is still lots of work to be done to secure a spot on the active roster by the time the season starts. Gonna stay humble but I’m hungry and determined!
— Elhadji T Fall (@tackofall99) July 26, 2019
While he’s gotten his foot into the door, Fall still has some questions to answer.
Like, can he become a consistent contributor on a team with championship aspirations?
That’s not clear right now. But if he does grow into a regular rotation player, he has the some special skills the Celtics could use.
Here are 3 ways Tacko Fall can help the Celtics:
Every NBA team needs rim protection, and Fall is built to do just that.
The big man notched 2.6 blocks per game in his final season at UCF and averaged 2.4 per contest for his college career. He isn’t the quickest and he’s not a jumper, but his freakish 8-foot-2 wingspan smothers explosive athletes and proficient finishers around the basket.
Tacko Fall blocks Zion, then goes down court and finishes off the jam. #MarchMadness
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) March 24, 2019
But it’s more than that. Fall’s pure oddity could make him a big-time asset, as the second tallest player in the NBA is 7-3 Boban Marjanovic. Players simply don’t see anyone as massive as Fall, and the number of shots he alters will be just as valuable as the ones he blocks.
It’s unlikely that Fall will play heavy minutes for Boston in 2019-20, but he definitely could make the most of the opportunities he does get.
Fall shot over 70% from the field in each of his four years at UCF. He barely averaged double-digits in scoring (10.1 ppg) but knows his game and structures his style to fit the system he’s in.
He can slam the ball through without having to leave his feet, making the rim look like a toy. Easy buckets like that will always come as a relief to the Celtics, and Fall will attract considerable attention from players looking to stop the jaw-dropping feat. But he does it with such ease.
TACKO FALL REBOUND PUTBACK DUNK 🔥 pic.twitter.com/rpG8C5Pz50
— NBA Summer League (@NBASummerLeague) July 12, 2019
What can stand in his way if he gets the ball in the restricted area?
Fall, 23, easily became a fan favorite at summer league earlier this month while averaging just 7.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in five games.
His presence alone made spectators stand up and cheer every time he touched the ball. Celtics fans seem poised to continue being in awe of him, and that’s just what Boston needs right now.
Boston lost key players in Kyrie Irving and Al Horford over the offseason. It lacked a sense of camaraderie last season due to bench and rising stars desiring larger roles.
Terry Rozier is gone, Jayson Tatum has been thrown into the spotlight. Fall and the rest of the Celtics’ young core can give TD Garden optimism about the new look of the team and help create a more positive environment.