Celtics Sign Tacko Fall to Contract as Undrafted Free Agent After 2019 Draft

Megan ArmstrongCorrespondent IIJune 21, 2019

Central Florida's Tacko Fall pulls down the rebound during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Temple, Saturday, March 9, 2019, in Philadelphia. Temple won 67-62. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Chris Szagola/Associated Press

The Boston Celtics have signed undrafted University of Central Florida center Tacko Fall to an Exhibit 10 contract, per ESPN's Jonathan Givony.

Fall now has a shot at becoming one of the tallest players to ever grace an NBA court.

He set measurement records at the 2019 NBA combine, including his 7'7" height in shoes. Fall used his close proximity to the bucket to shoot 74 percent from the field over his four seasons at UCF.

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Tacko Fall is a force of nature 😳 https://t.co/JgHsotKcwI

"Ten or 12 years ago, he'd have been a first-round pick," an anonymous veteran scout told Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel during the combine. "He runs better in a straight line than Roy Hibbert, and he's going to get a look in our league because of Boban [Marjanovic]."

Former Atlanta Hawks general manager Wes Wilcox added, per Thamel: "You don't see 7'5" guys with that coordination move the way that he does. I'm intrigued."

The Senegal native impressed nationally during UCF's 2018-19 NCAA tournament run, which matched him up against Duke's Zion Williamson in the second round. The Knights lost to Duke 77-76, but Fall made a difference with 15 points, six rebounds and three blocks.

The most glaring weakness in Fall's game throughout his four collegiate seasons was free-throw shooting, which bottomed out at 36.2 percent last season. In preparation for the draft, according to Thamel, Fall honed in on his free-throw shooting with NBA trainer Drew Hanlen. Otherwise, opponents can easily neutralize the mismatch his height presents in the paint by constantly sending him to the line.

Looking toward his place in the Celtics' future, Philadelphia 76ers center Boban Marjanovic is a natural comparison to make based on size alone, but Fall is a much more mobile athlete. Based on the rare combination of unprecedented size and nimble athleticism, Fall doesn't directly compare to anybody.

That said, Boston seems to believe Fall's skill set could successfully translate to the NBA.


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