The Cleveland Cavaliers have agreed to a one-year, non-guaranteed deal with 7-foot-5 center Tacko Fall, agents Bill Duffy and Justin Haynes of @BDA_Sports told @TheAthletic @Stadium. Fall played his first two NBA seasons in Boston.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 1, 2021
The addition of Fall makes Cleveland’s roster the tallest in the league by a significant margin.
At 7-foot-5, Fall towers over most in the league.
Each of these bigs landed in Cleveland during this calendar year, with Allen, acquired last season via trade, being the longest-tenured.
Cleveland’s Curious Roster Construction
Cavs new starting five
PG: Tacko Fall
SG: Lauri Markkanen
SF: Kevin Love
PF: Evan Mobley
C: Jarrett Allen pic.twitter.com/2mUMBtu7Iw
— StatMuse (@statmuse) September 1, 2021
The Cavaliers roster sports no shortage of size.
But in the age of small-ball lineups, the team missed the playoffs yet again, finishing last season with a dismal 22-50 record.
Cleveland landed the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft as a result, and opted to select the high-upside big-man Mobley out of USC.
Then, the Cavaliers inked Allen to a $100 million contract to remain the team’s defensive anchor.
Suddenly, Cleveland’s frontcourt seemed crowded, especially considering Kevin Love remains on the roster.
But the Cavaliers didn’t stop there.
The team completed a sign-and-trade deal involving the Chicago Bulls and Portland Trail Blazers to acquire Markkanen, the Finish stretch four.
Now, Cleveland adds Fall, who’s coming off two unremarkable seasons with the Boston Celtics.
Although the subject of trade rumors this offseason, Sexton led the Cavaliers in scoring last season, averaging 24.3 points per game.
His backcourt mate, Garland, averaged 17.4 points and 6.1 assists per game.
Last year’s first-round pick, Isaac Okoro, proved to be an inefficient shooter, but posted 9.6 points per game while providing excellent defense.
Cleveland head coach J.B. Bickerstaff could opt for a starting lineup of Garland, Sexton, Okoro, Mobley, and Allen.
Fall’s Spot Non-Guaranteed
Cleveland’s roster currently houses 15 players, although just 10 of those hold fully guaranteed contracts.
What that means is, Fall’s non-guaranteed deal seems more like a training camp tryout more than anything else.
Tacko Fall, a source tells @clevelanddotcom, will be receiving a camp deal from #Cavs. Similar to Thon Maker last year. Fall will come to camp and compete for one of the final roster spots or a two-way contract. (Now I’m getting back to my vacation).
— Chris Fedor (@ChrisFedor) September 1, 2021
Coming out of the University of Central Florida, Fall’s overwhelming size intrigued the league, especially considering his 8-foot-4 wingspan.
But a lack of lateral quickness and unrefined offensive skills ultimately led to the big man going undrafted out of UCF.
Fall latched on with the Celtics after the 2019 NBA Draft and spent two unremarkable seasons with the team.
In 26 games with the Celtics over those two seasons, Fall averaged just 2.7 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks per game.
In 29 games with Boston’s G-League club, the Maine Red Claws, he averaged 12.9 points and 11.1 rebounds per game while also earning All-Defensive G League honors in recording nearly three blocks per game.
Unless Fall impresses during training camp, it’s hard to imagine Cleveland keeping this much size.
But then again, the Cavaliers might not be done adding size either.
The 7-foot center came as part of the return package for JaVale McGee from the Denver Nuggets.
Hartenstein averaged 8.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.2 blocks per game over 16 appearances for Cleveland after the trade.