Celtics Sign Tacko Fall

wade boggs chicken dinner

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What is Max Strus’ NBA skill?
If you ask Danny, I suspect he'd say that Strus has a shot to be a NBA shooter with above-average athleticism.
Exactly.

Putting Tacko on a 2-way contract seems like a no-brainer. Typically, the 15th roster spot goes to a marginal NBA player anyway, so why not use it on a guy with an uncoachable skill and potential upside. Yes, chances are likely that Fall is at best a 10mpg role player. Or maybe not even that.

But I honestly don't get the reservations some folks have about using one of their 2-way spots on him. They can always find another Strus for next season if Fall doesn't work out.
I believe you're getting two-ways and the 15th roster spot mixed up. Right now the Cs have 14 roster spots and they have signed Strus and Waters on 2-ways. Tacko is on an "Exhibit 10" contract (I think he got a bonus for that).

Note that Javonte Green is on a partially guaranteed 2-year deal that apparently has a signing bonus of $150,000. CelticsBlog wrote that because of this guarantee, Green is ineligible to play in the G-League (maximum bonus is $50,000: see here for confirmation).

So as of this very moment, I'd say that Green has the inside track to the 15th roster spot and Fall, Waters, and Strus are battling for the 2 two-way spots.

The biggest issue is that to get Fall on a two-way contract, he'd have Note that if Fall has to go through waivers, and his agent said that he'd be picked up by another team: https://nesn.com/2019/09/nba-rumors-tacko-falls-agent-reiterates-interest-from-other-nba-teams/.

Will be interesting to see how this plays out.
 
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DrewDawg

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If you ask Danny, I suspect he'd say that Strus has a shot to be a NBA shooter with above-average athleticism.

I believe you're getting two-ways and the 15th roster spot mixed up. Right now the Cs have 14 roster spots and they have signed Strus and Waters on 2-ways. Tacko is on an "Exhibit 10" contract (I think he got a bonus for that).

Note that Javonte Green is on a partially guaranteed 2-year deal that apparently has a signing bonus of $150,000. CelticsBlog wrote that because of this guarantee, Green is ineligible to play in the G-League (maximum bonus is $50,000: see here for confirmation).

So as of this very moment, I'd say that Green has the inside track to the 15th roster spot and Fall, Waters, and Strus are battling for the 2 two-way spots. The biggest issue is that to get Fall on a two-way contract, he'd have to go through waivers, and his agent said that he'd be picked up by another team: https://nesn.com/2019/09/nba-rumors-tacko-falls-agent-reiterates-interest-from-other-nba-teams/.

Will be interesting to see how this plays out.
I don't think it's true he'd need waivers if we terminate Strus's two way and sign Fall. He'd need waivers if we want him to go to Maine without a two way.

Also, Waters could beat out Wanamaker (doubtful) and get roster spot, opening up a two way.
 

lexrageorge

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If you ask Danny, I suspect he'd say that Strus has a shot to be a NBA shooter with above-average athleticism.

I believe you're getting two-ways and the 15th roster spot mixed up. Right now the Cs have 14 roster spots and they have signed Strus and Waters on 2-ways. Tacko is on an "Exhibit 10" contract (I think he got a bonus for that).

Note that Javonte Green is on a partially guaranteed 2-year deal that apparently has a signing bonus of $150,000. CelticsBlog wrote that because of this guarantee, Green is ineligible to play in the G-League (maximum bonus is $50,000: see here for confirmation).

So as of this very moment, I'd say that Green has the inside track to the 15th roster spot and Fall, Waters, and Strus are battling for the 2 two-way spots. The biggest issue is that to get Fall on a two-way contract, he'd have to go through waivers, and his agent said that he'd be picked up by another team: https://nesn.com/2019/09/nba-rumors-tacko-falls-agent-reiterates-interest-from-other-nba-teams/.

Will be interesting to see how this plays out.


EDIT: As the post I've responded to has since been corrected (which was correcting my corrected post - and so on), I decided to edit to recap the options the Celtics have with Fall:

1.) Assign him to Maine as an Exhibit 10 player at the end of camp. He would be free to sign with any NBA team, although he gets a max $50K bonus should he stay in Maine for 60 days. This is the default option.

2.) Convert his exhibit 10 contract to a two-way contract and assign him to Maine. That would force the team to waive one of Strus (most likely), Waters, or, less likely, Javonte Green. He could still be up for the big club for 45 days this season, and would still be eligible to be converted to a one-way player by the end of the regular season.

3.) Convert his exhibit 10 contract to a standard, NBA rookie contract. The team could assign him to Maine at any time. Downside is that they would lose Green.

Again, I fail to see the downside of option #2, even if Fall turns out to be nothing more than a curiosity (I take with which I disagree, but whatever).
 
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wade boggs chicken dinner

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I don't think it's true he'd need waivers if we terminate Strus's two way and sign Fall. He'd need waivers if we want him to go to Maine without a two way.

Also, Waters could beat out Wanamaker (doubtful) and get roster spot, opening up a two way.
Further reading suggests you are correct so I edited post. Txs.
 

benhogan

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Forget the talent/upside potential of Tacko, in a world driven by "grabbing eyeballs and unique content creation" spending the 17th/two-way spot on Tacko vs. the rest is a no-brainer for Wyc/Danny. Business101

A reality show, jersey sales, 10-second highlight reels, seats at Maine, podcasts, viewership #s for games, etc

Irrelevant rebuilders/tankers like Memphis must be kicking themselves not taking an end of the bench flyer on this youngster.
 

lovegtm

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The downside of cutting Struss is that you end up like the Clippers when they cut Joe Ingles. He ended up good, and they ended up really thin on the wing at the end of the CP3 run. Even if Strus is blocked by other guys, wings are gold in trades in the small but non-neglible chance he ends up decent.

That said, this is all more of a reason to cut Wanamaker than to cut Tacko if Strus looks good. Basically the Celtics have a lot of intriguing kids, and it doesn’t make much sense to me to keep a back of the bench PG with no upside. Young guys have upside/value even in non-star outcomes.
 

Big John

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The downside of cutting Struss is that you end up like the Clippers when they cut Joe Ingles. He ended up good, and they ended up really thin on the wing at the end of the CP3 run. Even if Strus is blocked by other guys, wings are gold in trades in the small but non-neglible chance he ends up decent.
Yes, this is a good point and you can make a similar case for Javonte Green, although Green is already 26.
 

Jimbodandy

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They have loads of options, if they want to hold on to Tacko. If they don't execute any of them, it's clear that they're not that into him. We shall see.

Edit: I think that some of the hesitancy to cut Strus comes from the promise that he supposedly received.
 

mcpickl

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I think there are several NBA teams that would snatch Fall up in a heartbeat and play him 10 minutes per night. It might not be 'best' for him, but I bet that option is there. He does seem to be settling in well in Boston, so there's also that. You've got to think the C's will find some way to get him to the G-League and steady minutes every night. Work on some of the finer points and see where he is later in the year. If he gets to the point where he's impacting those games like he did the games in college... it's really hard for me to believe there aren't consistent minutes in the NBA for him.
I can't imagine this to be true.

He went undrafted less than four months ago. If anyone thought he could play NBA minutes this year they at least pick him in the second round.

It's not like he's shown any skill since being drafted besides being huge.

If he gets on the floor in any non-garbage time this season he's going to get the Hacko a Tacko treatment and played right off the floor.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I can't imagine this to be true.

He went undrafted less than four months ago. If anyone thought he could play NBA minutes this year they at least pick him in the second round.

It's not like he's shown any skill since being drafted besides being huge.

If he gets on the floor in any non-garbage time this season he's going to get the Hacko a Tacko treatment and played right off the floor.
This. I like Fall and would be fine if they end up with him in the organization. However those clamoring for him over, say Strus, are ignoring the fact that the expected value of Strus' potential NBA contribution is higher than that of Fall's potential output. The Celtics are relatively deep at wing as others note but that is because of the way the game is played. Good wings are like pitching - you can never have too many.

Meanwhile, Fall needs to work on a number of things just to get a modest amount of meaningful (i.e. non garbage time) NBA playing time in the near future.
 

DrewDawg

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It's not like he's shown any skill since being drafted besides being huge.
Is this the case?

How many "he moves better than I thought" tweets, stories, posts, etc. did we see after summer league?


“Everyone expected him to be really slow, but he’s shown a mobility that we weren’t necessarily ready for.
 

luckiestman

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I can't imagine this to be true.

He went undrafted less than four months ago. If anyone thought he could play NBA minutes this year they at least pick him in the second round.

It's not like he's shown any skill since being drafted besides being huge.

If he gets on the floor in any non-garbage time this season he's going to get the Hacko a Tacko treatment and played right off the floor.

If I’ve learned anything over the years, it is that scouts absolutely suck. I wouldn’t use the 4 month ago no draft to mean much. Summer and preseason has shown a guy that is 7’5 and can move.
 

BigSoxFan

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This. I like Fall and would be fine if they end up with him in the organization. However those clamoring for him over, say Strus, are ignoring the fact that the expected value of Strus' potential NBA contribution is higher than that of Fall's potential output. The Celtics are relatively deep at wing as others note but that is because of the way the game is played. Good wings are like pitching - you can never have too many.

Meanwhile, Fall needs to work on a number of things just to get a modest amount of meaningful (i.e. non garbage time) NBA playing time in the near future.
Fall needs a redshirt year. 2003 Perkins didn’t belong anywhere near an NBA court because his body wasn’t ready. The redshirt year really helped him. I would like to see what Fall could become with a year of practice, low leverage games, etc. And if it means losing Max Strus, so be it. I’ll gladly risk whatever potential people think he has.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Fall needs a redshirt year. 2003 Perkins didn’t belong anywhere near an NBA court because his body wasn’t ready. The redshirt year really helped him. I would like to see what Fall could become with a year of practice, low leverage games, etc. And if it means losing Max Strus, so be it. I’ll gladly risk whatever potential people think he has.
I agree and I won't shed a tear if they decide that losing Strus is worth keeping Fall to see what he can do. The guy has "it" in terms of allure partially due to his unique dimensions and also in large part because he seems to have the right personality/approach. However, its really hard to envision what a guy like Fall can do for anything other than small stretches/unique match-ups in today's NBA. I get what people see though because if he can develop any sort of outside shot, gets good at passing and/or gets a decent handle, he quickly becomes much more than a tool to be used in specific situations.
 

lovegtm

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I agree and I won't shed a tear if they decide that losing Strus is worth keeping Fall to see what he can do. The guy has "it" in terms of allure partially due to his unique dimensions and also in large part because he seems to have the right personality/approach. However, its really hard to envision what a guy like Fall can do for anything other than small stretches/unique match-ups in today's NBA. I get what people see though because if he can develop any sort of outside shot, gets good at passing and/or gets a decent handle, he quickly becomes much more than a tool to be used in specific situations.
Hell, if he can just move at decently on defense, he's an NBA player for 10 years. Probably the biggest bump to his stock post-draft has been that he's clearly at a level up in that regard than Boban types. (Boban is far more skilled offensively).
 

PedrosRedGlove

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This. I like Fall and would be fine if they end up with him in the organization. However those clamoring for him over, say Strus, are ignoring the fact that the expected value of Strus' potential NBA contribution is higher than that of Fall's potential output. The Celtics are relatively deep at wing as others note but that is because of the way the game is played. Good wings are like pitching - you can never have too many.

Meanwhile, Fall needs to work on a number of things just to get a modest amount of meaningful (i.e. non garbage time) NBA playing time in the near future.
I totally agree with you on the overall higher positional value of wing players in today's game, but this was specifically one of the problems with last year's roster.

I think that applies to most of the expected outcomes here, Strus is a redundant piece who would struggle to get ANY minutes at all on this depth chart for the reasonable future, unless he happens to be the lottery ticket shooter that turns into Joe Ingles. Fall may be able to contribute something to this year's team just because of the lack of defensive bigs. Strus's potential role will never be hard to fill, Tacko, while his upside is limited, is a much scarcer type of role player.
 

Kliq

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I'm going to be a bit irrational here and just say that last season was miserable and Tacko makes the Celtics about 10x more fun whenever he checks into a game. Yes, it might make more basketball sense to keep Strus, but I'm a fan because I enjoy watching the games and I'd rather have Fall over whatever incremental benefit the Celtics would have by keeping Strus.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I totally agree with you on the overall higher positional value of wing players in today's game, but this was specifically one of the problems with last year's roster.

I think that applies to most of the expected outcomes here, Strus is a redundant piece who would struggle to get ANY minutes at all on this depth chart for the reasonable future, unless he happens to be the lottery ticket shooter that turns into Joe Ingles. Fall may be able to contribute something to this year's team just because of the lack of defensive bigs. Strus's potential role will never be hard to fill, Tacko, while his upside is limited, is a much scarcer type of role player.
I think people expecting Fall to contribute at all in '19-20 are way too optimistic about what he can do as a defensive big against real NBA players but if they are right, that would be a welcome development. On the other hand, I suspect a more likely outcome is that he is exposed and abused via mismatches etc.
 

Jimbodandy

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I think people expecting Fall to contribute at all in '19-20 are way too optimistic about what he can do as a defensive big against real NBA players but if they are right, that would be a welcome development. On the other hand, I suspect a more likely outcome is that he is exposed and abused via mismatches etc.
Oh yeah. I hope that nobody here is looking at him and seeing a guy who might help this year's team.

The debate is whether it's worth sacrificing Strus, Green, or maybe Wanamaker in order to lock down Tacko's redshirt year.
 

PedrosRedGlove

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I think people expecting Fall to contribute at all in '19-20 are way too optimistic about what he can do as a defensive big against real NBA players but if they are right, that would be a welcome development. On the other hand, I suspect a more likely outcome is that he is exposed and abused via mismatches etc.
I use the word contribute loosely, it was as much a statement about the depth chart at the 5 on this roster, most of the bigs are going to be abused by mismatches. There are situations where a 7'6" 300lb player can be made useful, even if he is borderline NBA talent, the same can't really be said for a generic 6'6" wing scorer.

I do think he could progress to competence faster than people are expecting. He's a total anomaly physically and is incredibly smart, who knows if that translates to BBIQ but there's enough there to make him more worthwhile to me than Strus, 26 y/o Green, or Wanamaker.
 

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Is this the case?

How many "he moves better than I thought" tweets, stories, posts, etc. did we see after summer league?

To be fair, any article to the contrary isn't going to get clicks.

"7'7" guy is good" sells newspapers, or whatever the 2019 equivalent is. No one is going to focus on his shortcomings until the games count or CHB is told about this guy
 
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Eddie Jurak

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I agree and I won't shed a tear if they decide that losing Strus is worth keeping Fall to see what he can do. The guy has "it" in terms of allure partially due to his unique dimensions and also in large part because he seems to have the right personality/approach. However, its really hard to envision what a guy like Fall can do for anything other than small stretches/unique match-ups in today's NBA. I get what people see though because if he can develop any sort of outside shot, gets good at passing and/or gets a decent handle, he quickly becomes much more than a tool to be used in specific situations.
Yes, this. I'd like to see Tacko show enough to convince the Celtics to keep him around. I'm not necessarily convinced he's done so already.
 

benhogan

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I use the word contribute loosely, it was as much a statement about the depth chart at the 5 on this roster, most of the bigs are going to be abused by mismatches. There are situations where a 7'6" 300lb player can be made useful, even if he is borderline NBA talent, the same can't really be said for a generic 6'6" wing scorer.

I do think he could progress to competence faster than people are expecting. He's a total anomaly physically and is incredibly smart, who knows if that translates to BBIQ but there's enough there to make him more worthwhile to me than Strus, 26 y/o Green, or Wanamaker.
While it seems unpopular to consider Tacko having any chance to contribute to the Celtics this season put me down on Team Optimism for a couple of reasons:
(1) Centers get injured quite a bit. I recall Semi starting at the 5 against the Bucks in a Dec game last year. Al, Baynes, TL, Theis were all injured at different points last season.
(2) Tacko dissuades/alters/blocks rim attacks, which is the Celtics biggest defensive deficiency
(3) When Tacko enters a game he whips the home crowd (even an impartial Vegas crowd) into a frenzy and creates "a home-field advantage". Tacko also takes the spotlight off of some other Celtic issues. Plus it's fun, and a team in the midst of a long, grueling season needs an emotional boost.
(4) The EC elite all have much bigger frontlines than the C's. Getting abused in the restricted zone/FT line, for another season, may force Brad to do the unconventional

After watching the SSS of the Duke game, a handful of Vegas games and 1 preseason game I'm interested in seeing if this guy could be disruptive/effective on defense while playing the screener/dunker spot on offense. If Hacko Tacko becomes the antidote and he shoots under 50% from the line then it's back to Maine to shoot FTs in games (for what its worth, his stroke has improved from UCF).

So I'll go out on a limb and say Tacko gets a two-way deal and it plays out this way: Tacko starts the season in Maine, continues to be a spark plug with his play and crowd frenzy in Portland. After a month or two, a couple of Centers get injured, Tacko starts getting bench time in Boston. After watching Kanter get beat to the rim for the millionth time a frustrated Brad gives Tacko a chance in a blowout. The crowd goes nuts, gives the team a needed shot of adrenaline in midseason and he starts getting 5mpg.

OR maybe I've watched too many Muresan Boban games over the years and I'm projecting.

Also, I'm a sucker for these unique/off-the-run players. I always rooted for Mugsy Bogues, Spud Webb, Manute Bol, or Nate Robinson. Back in the day I probably would have wanted the Sox to sign Eddie Gaedel and have him bat leadoff...
 
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DrewDawg

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To be fair, any article to the contrary isn't going to get clicks.

"7'7" guy is good" sells newspapers, or whatever the 2019 equivalent is. No one is going to focus on his shortcomings until the games count or CHB is told about this guy
Sure, but the quote was from a Celtics coach. Unless we are just not going to believe anything that we heard from coaches and players in the summer league/preseason there's reason to believe he's showed a bit more than was expected.
 

sezwho

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I’m with @benhogan, or at least the optimistic version.

There has never been an athlete this big and agile on an NBA court. It’s not like he didn’t show value in college, and if he stays healthy (the actual limit for the 7’3” or larger guys) he’ll be getting at least rotation minutes.

Strus is most likely just another 4a Yabu Nader clone. Perhaps a slightly higher chance of reaching a much lower ceiling, literally and figuratively. Pass
 

ggreene

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I like Tacko. Hope he does well in the remaining preseason games and they keep him. In the past Horford, Baynes, Theis, even Williams all get nicked up during the season. Seems like there is room for another center that can at least change the mindset of opposing players thinking they can drive the lane with impunity. My one worry about him is his durability with increased minutes. Same worry I have about Robert Williams.
 

Eddie Jurak

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@benhogan makes an interesting point about Maine. It would certainly be a big deal for the Red Claws, and the G league more specifically, to have Tacko there on a 2-way deal. How much of an advantage is that, for the Celtics?
 

lexrageorge

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@benhogan makes an interesting point about Maine. It would certainly be a big deal for the Red Claws, and the G league more specifically, to have Tacko there on a 2-way deal. How much of an advantage is that, for the Celtics?
I guess I'm still not seeing the downside. There will be a Strus available next year if it becomes clear that Tacko will not be an NBA player in the future.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Keeping Tacko is a no brainer. Worst case, he flames out like 90% of G-leaguers or end of bench players. His upside is too obvious. 2way this man.
 

GoDa

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I think people expecting Fall to contribute at all in '19-20 are way too optimistic about what he can do as a defensive big against real NBA players but if they are right, that would be a welcome development. On the other hand, I suspect a more likely outcome is that he is exposed and abused via mismatches etc.
When do the players become real and when do things count? I get that Tacko hasn't matched up against Embiid, but aren't the end of the roster NBA training camp guys essentially the creme de la creme of the G League?

If we can "oooh" and "ahhh" at Green getting loose for nasty dunks against these guys and count that as valid, can we not do the same for Fall's dunks, blocks, and disruptions?
 

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I'm seeing a lot of pronouncements about what he can/can't do, what he has or hasn't shown. I think in the very short term those who say he might be run off the court might be right - in the regular season. Where it gets interesting to me is in possible post season play when it inevitably bogs down to half court basketball. Then he's not going to get run off the court so much likely to be "switched to death" or "fail to rotate to death" off the court. In those cases, the reports of him having more mobility than previously thought become more valuable - because if he can physically survive the demands of playing defense, then there is more upside to waiting to see if he can mentally/BB IQ get there to being able to stay on the court. I just don't think it is as cut and dried as I would initially thought. And the thought of a 7'-5" semi-mobile presence in the middle is interesting enough to pass on a JAG (but uber athletic) wing in my mind.
 

lexrageorge

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What I find curious is that people are decrying Tacko's lack of offensive skills. They may be right. But the team has a real deficiency of bigs that can play defense.

It is unlikely that Fall can address the teams defensive deficiencies this season. However, given that there's no one else on the roster that can address those either, what again is the downside to keeping him on a 2-way contract for a year? If his best upside is a 15 mpg rotation big 2 years from now, that is still a worthwhile player to have on your roster, especially when the team is lacking that very player.
 
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bosox79

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What I find curious is that people are decrying Tacko's lack of offensive skills. They may be right. But the team has a real deficiency of bigs that can play defense.

It is unlikely that Fall can address the teams defensive deficiencies this season. However, given that there's no one else on the roster that can address those either, what again is the downside to keeping him on a 2-way contract for a year? If his best upside is a 15 mpg rotation big, that is still a worthwhile player to have on your roster, especially when the team is lacking that very player.
Especially when the guys he's competing with have the upside of 15 minute rotation players.
 

mcpickl

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Sure, but the quote was from a Celtics coach. Unless we are just not going to believe anything that we heard from coaches and players in the summer league/preseason there's reason to believe he's showed a bit more than was expected.
Probably to the bolded.

I don't think a coach/player would ever come out and say, geez he moves slower than we expected, so saying the reverse probably means nothing.

And I don't think there's a single GM in the league surprised by how he moves. I think they all watched him plenty before this summer. If they didn't get good looks at a 7'5" guy pre-draft, they probably wouldn't be a GM for long.
 

Joe Sixpack

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Personally I can't wait for some random game where he gets 20 minutes due to injuries and Tommy just starts going crazy on air about him.

I want to have fun watching the Celtics this season (basically, what Kliq said) and this is one of the things that will get me to watch.
 

lovegtm

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Probably to the bolded.

I don't think a coach/player would ever come out and say, geez he moves slower than we expected, so saying the reverse probably means nothing.

And I don't think there's a single GM in the league surprised by how he moves. I think they all watched him plenty before this summer. If they didn't get good looks at a 7'5" guy pre-draft, they probably wouldn't be a GM for long.
Hmmmm not sure I agree with the assumption here. There are plenty of examples of player evaluations drastically shifting after just a week or two of summer league.

In Tacko’s case, the shift from zone to defensive 3 second rule is a really, really massive one that’s hard to evaluate without seeing live games. So far he’s not the 2nd coming of Hakeem, but he’s doing ok-ish in this new context. That’s relevant (and previously inaccessible) information.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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What exactly is Tacko's upside? 15-20 minute rotational big? More?