The 7-foot-6-inch center Tacko Fall became a sensation at the Las Vegas Summer League, enchanting fans with his size, his dunks and his demeanor.
Boston recently signed Fall to an Exhibit 10 contract, which essentially means he would receive a $50,000 bonus if he agrees to join the Celtics’ G-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, if he is waived after training camp. But since summer league, fans have been clamoring for Fall to be added to the Celtics’ 15-man roster, and when Guerschon Yabusele was waived last week, there was suddenly an open spot.
On Wednesday, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge was asked about Fall’s standing.
“We want to take his development very, very seriously,” Ainge said. “He’s a high priority for us to try to really develop into a player.”
Later, in an interview with NBC Sports Boston, Ainge said that Fall could have a chance of making Boston’s final roster. League sources have said that Boston intends to bring several players into training camp to battle it out for the final roster slot, and Fall could be among them.
Regardless, Ainge said he enjoyed watching Fall play in Las Vegas as much as anyone.
“Tacko is fun to watch,” he said. “He makes me laugh. Some of the plays he makes are hilarious, because you just don’t see them. Guards get in a bind and they just throw the ball up in the air, then Tacko grabs them and makes tip-toe dunks from under the basket. It’s just like a senior in high school playing against fourth graders sometimes out there. He’s a great kid. He’s working really hard.”
Fall averaged 7.2 points, 4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in just 12.6 minutes per game in summer league action.
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Kemba Walker guided UConn to the 2011 NCAA championship, and he said memories from his time there always came back during trips to Boston, which is just 85 miles from the university’s campus.
“Yeah, every time I played against Boston, warming up at the arena I always saw a bunch of UConn jerseys,” Walker said. “When they called my name, I always got a good ovation. They didn’t boo me much. So I’m super, super excited to be back and, to not only get a chance to play in front of the Boston fans, but the UConn fans as well. Now I get a chance to see Coach Calhoun a little more as well. So I’m excited.”
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The Celtics on Wednesday officially re-signed center Daniel Theis and Brad Wanamaker. Theis previously agreed to a two-year, $10 million deal and Wanamaker agreed to a one-year minimum salary contract.