Tacko Fall's NBA fate won't be decided by how he fares matched up one-on-one with opposing big men. As the rookie giant prepares for training camp with the Boston Celtics, though, it certainly won't hurt him to go up against Joel Embiid in workouts.
Fall is traveling home to Senegal this weekend with Basketball Without Borders. Also on the trip will be Embiid and famed skills trainer Drew Hanlen, a client of both players who says he's excited to pit Fall against the Philadelphia 76ers superstar in workouts abroad.
“I’ll throw him up against Joel a little bit and he’ll get to work out some with Joel, which will be a really good experience for him,” Hanlen said of Fall, per Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe.
Fall went undrafted after four seasons at the University of Central Florida. He won American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year as a sophomore, and last season was selected third team all-conference.
The 7-foot-6 Fall signed with the Celtics shortly after the draft. He quickly became a fan favorite at Las Vegas Summer League due to his cartoonish size and surprisingly effective play. Fall averaged 7.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks in just 12.6 minutes per game for Boston, shooting an astounding 77.3 percent from the field. He's slated to go through training camp with the Celtics, after which he'll most likely be relegated to the G-League's Maine Red Claws.
Fall will always be beset by his utter lack of foot speed even compared to some slower NBA big men, the weakness he must work most to address. But his path towards a roster spot includes becoming a stellar post defender, a potential development that working with Embiid could help come to fruition.