Tacko Fall quickly has become quite the Summer League star in Las Vegas, but what’s that mean for his NBA future?
Over the last week or so, some questions have been raised regarding the security of Guerschon Yabusele’s roster spot, with many fans calling for Fall to take the French forward’s place on the Boston Celtics. And now it’s time to really discuss this as a possibility after two Summer League games.
Yabusele has looked subpar in the first two games of his third Summer League campaign. No first-round pick should be included on three Summer LLeague rosters, so that is a red flag in itself. Yabusele has yet to show any major developments since being selected with the No. 16 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, and his lone season in China only hurt his defensive game. This isn’t to say Yabusele is not an NBA player, but he certainly isn’t one in his current form.
At 7-foot-7, Fall has shown some impressive promise during Boston’s Summer League schedule. No, he’s not an everyday NBA starter, but Fall’s skillset can provide the Celtics with a unique look off the bench. His size alone creates problems for opposing teams, while his movement is much better than most would assume at his height.
First-round pick Grant Williams also plays a role here. The Tennessee product can do everything Yabusele does and more. He can stretch the floor better than Yabusele and definitely is better on the defensive side of the ball. To put it simply, Williams is a winner. Why keep Yabusele on the roster if one of the rookies already can give you what he does at a higher level?
Sporadic stretches of minutes from Fall hold far more value than Yabusele coming off the bench. Again, Fall won’t start or be an everyday contributor, but simply put, his unique skillset brings far more to the table than Yabusele’s does.
The Celtics exercised their team option for Yabusele last fall, guaranteeing the next year of his contract. This move initially hinted at Boston keeping him around for salary-matching purposes in a potential trade, but with Anthony Davis scenarios out the window, that’s no longer at the forefront of Boston’s plans. Yabusele now is fully guaranteed at just over $3.1 million for the 2019-20 season.
Fall will have a chance to continue proving himself into training camp with the Celtics, and if he continues to do so, he really could make Boston consider eating Yabusele’s contract to free up a spot for the big man.