Beloved Celtic Leaving Boston to Sign With Eastern Conference Foe: Report

Ex-Celtic Tacko Fall signs with Cavs

Getty Tacko Fall #99 and Aaron Nesmith #26 of the Boston Celtics look on the second half against the Washington Wizards.

The era of one of Boston’s more beloved Celtics in recent memory has come to an end. Tacko Fall’s agents — Billy Duffy and Justin Hayes of BDA Sports — have informed The Athletic’s Shams Charania that their client has agreed to a one-year, non-guaranteed deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The 7-foot-5-inch Fall has played the past two seasons with the Celtics on a two-way contract, splitting time between the NBA and the G League. In total, the former UCF star appeared in 26 games with the Cs, logging 169 minutes and averaging 2.7 points, 2.6 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per contest. He was named to the G League’s All-Defensive Team in 2020.

Fall enjoyed arguably his most productive NBA campaign to date this past season — albeit far from prolific. The Senegalese center appeared in 12 more games and averaged 2.5 more minutes per game than he did in his rookie year. With the added looks, he averaged career highs in rebounds (2.7) and blocks (1.1).

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Love Has ‘No Interest’ in Buyout

Fall now goes from one crowded frontcourt in Boston to another in Cleveland. The latest addition to a reworked Cavaliers front line, Falls joins the likes of veteran Kevin Love, No. 3 overall pick Evan Mobley, starter Jarrett Allen and the recently acquired Lauri Markkanen — who had reportedly piqued the interest of Boston prior to landing in Ohio.

As for Love, the five-time All-Star has looked to be on his way out of town for quite a while. Trade chatter and buyout talks have engulfed the 32-year-old in recent years. Yet, according to his agent, Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports, buying out the remaining $60 million left on his two-year contract is of no interest to Love.

“There have been no talks with Cleveland on a buyout, nor is there any interest from Kevin in doing a buyout,” Schwartz told ESPN.

Hoops Wire’s Sam Amico reported back in July that the Celtics were among a handful of teams “believed” to have an interest in adding Love to their roster in the event of a buyout or via a trade. However, that ship has almost certainly sailed following Boston’s slew of offseason moves.

Outlook on Celtics Frontcourt

The Celtics will rely on the newly re-upped Robert Williams and veteran Al Horford to do most of the heavy lifting in their frontcourt, with free-agent signee Enes Kanter getting his fair share of looks as well. The team also has Bruno Fernando, Grant Williams, Jabari Parker and Sam Hauser at their disposal. The latter is a 6-foot-8-inch undrafted free agent out of Virginia who is on a two-way contract.

Williams, 23, has flashed huge upside throughout his career — for example, he recorded a franchise-record nine blocks in Boston’s series-opening loss to the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of this past year’s playoffs. Of course, injuries and consistency remain a concern for a big man who has appeared in just 113 regular-season games and started only 16 games over his three-year career.

Still, the Celtics have banked on continued development from the two-time SEC Defensive Player of the Year, handing him a new four-year, $54 million extension.

“Rob has worked hard to turn himself into a very impactful player, and his talent and selfless play give him an even higher upside to reach going forward,” said Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens in a press release. “Rob has embraced being a Celtic from day one. He is a great teammate and is completely committed to getting better. We’re excited that he will continue to do so here in Boston.”


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