Tacko Fall

Cavs Sign Brandon Goodwin To Two-Way Deal, Release Tacko Fall

The Cavaliers have signed point guard Brandon Goodwin on a two-way contract and release 7’5″ two-way center Tacko Fall to complete the deal, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Goodwin went undrafted out of Florida Gulf Coast in 2018 and spent a year with the Nuggets as a two-way player. He then joined the Hawks on a two-way contract in 2019/20, before being signed to a standard deal midway through the season.

The 26-year-old Goodwin earned a training camp deal with the Knicks at the start of the 2021/22 season. After New York waived Goodwin, he logged time with the team’s NBAGL affiliate, the Westchester Knicks. Goodwin subsequently signed a 10-day hardship exception deal with the Raptors but failed to see the floor.

The point guard first joined Cleveland on a 10-day hardship exception deal on New Year’s Eve 2021. Across 22.7 MPG in three games, the 6’0″ Goodwin is averaging 7.3 PPG, 4.7 APG, 3.7 RPG and 0.7 SPG.

The decision to retain Goodwin beyond his 10-day contract makes plenty of sense, as the 22-17 Cavaliers are currently strapped for backcourt talent. Cleveland lost guards Collin Sexton and Ricky Rubio with season-ending knee injuries earlier this year. Cleveland has gone 2-3 since Rubio went down with a torn ACL.

Thanks to the play of Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, and Evan Mobley, the team has remained in the thick of the playoff hunt since, and is clearly looking to shore up its depth at the point guard position. The Cavaliers also recently traded for former four-time All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo.

Fall, 26, was in his first year as a Cavalier after two seasons in Boston. In 11 games with Cleveland, Fall averaged 1.1 PPG, 2.1 RPG and 0.5 BPG. His counting stats are more impressive with the Cavs’ G League affiliate, the Cleveland Charge. In five games with the Charge, Fall put up 18.6 PPG, 12.0 RPG and 3.4 BPG.

Eastern Notes: Barrett, Cousins, Fall, Wizards

RJ Barrett has exited the NBA’s health and safety protocols, the Knicks announced today (via Twitter). The news comes on the heels of Obi Toppin clearing the protocols on Wednesday night, a sign that the team is hopefully getting through the worst of its COVID-19 outbreak.

Assuming Barrett and Toppin pass the necessary cardiac tests, they could be back in the lineup as soon as tonight vs. Washington or Saturday vs. Atlanta. Five Knicks remain in the protocols for the time being, as our tracker shows.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Earlier this week, Bucks center DeMarcus Cousins admitted he was still struggling to find his rhythm while getting “limited practice time (and) limited preparation” between games, as Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes. Cousins, who signed with Milwaukee last month, logged a season-high 28 minutes on Wednesday and had his best game of the year, putting up 18 points and eight assists in a win over Houston.
  • Like Cousins in Milwaukee, Cavaliers center Tacko Fall has taken on a larger role this week due to various absences. Kelsey Russo of The Athletic takes a look at the unusual journey Fall took leading up to his first NBA start on Wednesday. Playing in Boston, where he began his NBA career, the 7’5″ center had four points and 10 rebounds in 19 minutes.
  • Trade talks across the NBA have been put on the back burner for now as teams focus on dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks and signing replacement players. However, those discussions figure to heat up in the coming weeks, prompting Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington to take an early look at potential trade deadline priorities for the Wizards. The team could use more shooting, more size, and a speedy point guard, says Hughes.

Cavs Convert Fall, Nembhard To Two-Way Deals; Waive Three Players

1:13pm: The Cavaliers have officially announced all the moves outlined below.


10:45am: The Cavaliers are signing center Tacko Fall to a two-way contract, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. The team is also converting RJ Nembhard‘s contract to a two-way deal, JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors tweets.

Additionally, Cleveland is trimming its roster by waiving Justin James, Kyle Guy and Mitch Ballock, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweets. They are expected to join the Cleveland Charge once they clear waivers, Fedor adds.

Fall was signed to a non-guaranteed contract in early September. The 7’6” big man appeared in three preseason games and made enough of an impression to earn the two-way deal.  He spent two seasons with the Celtics, averaging 2.7 PPG, 2.6 RPG and 0.9 BPG in 26 games.

Nembhard was also signed to a non-guaranteed contract in early September. He played for Miami’s summer league team after going undrafted. Nembhard was a redshirt junior for TCU in 2020/21 and averaged 15.7 PPG, 4.3 RPG, and 4.0 APG in 24 games (34.9 MPG).

Brodric Thomas, who had been a two-way deal last season, was waived this week.

Cavaliers Sign Tacko Fall To Non-Guaranteed Deal

SEPTEMBER 2: The Cavs have made the signing official, per RealGM’s transactions log.


AUGUST 31: The Cavaliers have come to an agreement with free agent center Tacko Fall, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The deal is for one year and is non-guaranteed. The 7’5″ center spent two seasons with the Celtics, averaging 2.7 PPG, 2.6 RPG and 0.9 BPG in just 26 games total. He became something of a cult hero in Boston, with the fans and his teammates alike.

The Cavaliers have 14 roster spots currently taken, albeit just 10 on fully guaranteed deals, so it’s likely this deal is a training camp try-out.

The Cavaliers have no shortage of big men, especially after the sign-and-trade for Lauri Markkanen, but Fall could be a solid insurance policy, given the injury concerns between Markkanen and Kevin Love.

Atlantic Notes: Rivers, Durant, Irving, Fall, Knicks

Knicks guard Austin Rivers shined light on the importance of having available players this season, particularly as the league continues to navigate through a pandemic.

New York has mostly received good luck with COVID-19, while several teams (including the Heat and Celtics, who saw their game be postponed on Sunday) are unable to say the same. It’s a major reason why the team has a 5-4 record through the first nine contests of the season.

“The number one skill is availability,” Rivers said, as relayed by Steve Popper of Newsday. “If we can remain doing the things that we’re supposed to do — a lot of it has to do with just bad luck and good luck in terms of getting it. Some guys aren’t taking all the precautions. It’s a crazy thing. Some people touch something and end up getting it.

“With that being aside, if we do our job and we remain available, it gives us a chance to win every night and it gives us an advantage because you see a lot of teams having star players [out]. Just saw Tatum today with Boston go down. You get to see some of these teams missing some of their guys and if we’re fully loaded, it just gives us another advantage. So we’ve got to try to do our part.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division tonight:

  • Nets superstar Kevin Durant (health and safety protocols) will be available to play today against the Thunder, the team announced on social media. Star guard Kyrie Irving will miss another game due to personal reasons. A Nets win would give them a 6-5 record, while Oklahoma City is seeking its third straight victory.
  • Celtics center Tacko Fall has shown the team he’s ready for an increased role, Jared Weiss of The Athletic writes. Fall, 25, finished with four points, eight rebounds and three blocks off the bench in the team’s victory against Washington on Friday, logging 19 minutes. “Tacko’s gotten better since the first day that he got here,” teammate Jaylen Brown said. “He’s gotten better. His body has improved. His timing has improved. And he’s ready, as you’ve seen today. He came out, had a great game for us, defended, protected the rim, did everything we asked for, and that was just his first game. I think it’s only going to get better the more opportunity he gets.”
  • The Knicks have hired Nick Restifo to manage coaching analytics, according to Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic (Twitter link). Restifo worked with head coach Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota as a basketball operations assistant, Vorkunov notes.

Tacko Fall Returns To Celtics On Two-Way Deal

NOVEMBER 24: The deal is official, per the NBA’s transactions log.


NOVEMBER 23: Second-year center Tacko Fall, a fan favorite in Boston, is returning to the Celtics on a second two-way contract, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

An undrafted free agent out of UCF, the 7’5″ big man spent his rookie season in 2019/20 on a two-way deal with the Celtics, appearing in seven NBA games for the club. He racked up 23 points, 15 rebounds, and four blocks in just 33 minutes in those seven contests.

Fall was a rotation mainstay for the Maine Red Claws, the Celtics’ G League affiliate, averaging 12.9 PPG, 11.3 RPG, and 3.1 BPG in 29 games (23.3 MPG) for the club.

The Celtics’ issued a qualifying offer to Fall last week, making him a restricted free agent. Now it appears he’ll be back with the team for the 2020/21 season, filling one of the two-way slots. Tremont Waters, the club’s other two-way player last season, also received a QO from the club, but it’s not clear yet whether or not he’ll return.

QO Updates: Wanamaker, Hernangomez, Fall, Chiozza, More

The Celtics won’t be making a qualifying offer to guard Brad Wanamaker, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). The decision will ensure that Wanamaker becomes an unrestricted free agent on Friday, rather than an RFA.

The decision is a little surprising, as Wanamaker’s QO would only have been worth about $1.82MM. And he was a fairly reliable bench contributor in Boston in 2019/20, averaging 6.9 PPG and 2.5 APG on .448/.363/.926 shooting in 71 games (19.3 MPG). However, with Aaron Nesmith and Payton Pritchard entering the mix, the Celtics don’t have a ton of roster spots to go around.

There’s still a chance that Wanamaker could return to the Celtics, particularly if Gordon Hayward ends up elsewhere, tweets Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe.

Here are several more updates on qualifying offer decisions from around the NBA:

  • The Timberwolves, as expected, tendered a qualifying offer to power forward Juan Hernangomez, making him a restricted free agent, per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link). That QO is worth about $4.6MM. Hernangomez could accept it, but is more likely to try to negotiate a new, longer-term deal with Minnesota.
  • The Celtics extended qualifying offers to both of their two-way players, Tacko Fall and Tremont Waters, the team announced in a press release. Those QOs are for new two-way deals with $50K guarantees.
  • The Pacers won’t extend qualifying offers to big man Alize Johnson or two-way players Brian Bowen and Naz Mitrou-Long, tweets Scotto. All three players will become unrestricted free agents.
  • Among other two-way players, Nets guard Chris Chiozza will receive a qualifying offer, but Pelicans guard Josh Gray won’t, according to Scotto (Twitter links). The Heat also won’t send a QO to two-way player Kyle Alexander, tweets Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel.

NBA G League Announces 2019/20 All-NBAGL Teams

After being named the G League’s Most Valuable Player on Thursday, Wisconsin Herd guard Frank Mason III – who is on a two-way contract with the Bucks – headlines the All-NBA G League First Team, as the league announced today in a press release.

Mason was joined on the All-NBAGL first team by teammate Jaylen Adams, as well as Salt Lake City Stars forward Jarrell Brantley, South Bay Lakers big man Devontae Cacok, and Memphis Hustle forward Jarrod Uthoff. Mason, Brantley, and Cacok are currently on two-way contracts with NBA teams.

That’s a common theme for this year’s All-NBAGL teams. The majority of the 15 players named to the three squads are either currently on two-way contracts or have had NBA experience in the past.

The complete list of the 2019/20 All-NBA G League teams, along with the All-Rookie and All-Defensive squads, is below. Players currently on two-way contracts are noted with a caret (^).

All-NBAGL First Team:

  • Jaylen Adams (Wisconsin Herd)
  • Jarrell Brantley (Salt Lake City Stars) ^
  • Devontae Cacok (South Bay Lakers) ^
  • Frank Mason III (Wisconsin Herd) ^
  • Jarrod Uthoff (Memphis Hustle)

All-NBAGL Second Team:

All-NBAGL Third Team:

NBAGL All-Rookie Team:

  • Jarrell Brantley (Salt Lake City Stars) ^
  • Devontae Cacok (South Bay Lakers) ^
  • Donta Hall (Grand Rapids Drive)
  • Marial Shayok (Delaware Blue Coats) ^
  • Tremont Waters (Maine Red Claws) ^

NBAGL All-Defensive Team:

Of the 20 players who earned a spot on one of the G League’s All-NBAGL or All-Defensive teams this year, only four – Adams, Jones, Koumadje, and Hollins – haven’t been on some form of standard, two-way, or 10-day NBA contract since the ’19/20 season began.

Adams and Jones have previous NBA experience, while Koumadje and Hollins have yet to make their regular-season NBA debuts.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Celtics Notes: Fall, Smart, Kanter, Ojeleye

Tacko Fall has learned to enjoy his status as the latest cult hero in Boston, writes Jared Weiss of The Atheltic. Even though he has gotten into just six game for the Celtics and has played 24 total minutes, fans go crazy whenever the 7’5″ rookie approaches the scorer’s table. He also draws plenty of attention when he goes out in public with his teammates.

“They’ve been really good about it and sometimes I feel bad, ’cause I don’t want to take too much attention from the team,” Fall says. “And especially with coach Brad (Stevens), I don’t want them to see me like Tacko the rock star or Tacko the superstar. If you know me and the person I am, I don’t like to take too much attention away from them. But they actually give me attention, which is crazy.”

Fall’s size and potential make him an easy choice as a fan favorite, even though he went undrafted out of Central Florida last summer. He signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Celtics in July and earned a two-way deal in training camp. He has spent most of his first season with the organization’s G League affiliate in Maine, but still drew nearly a million All-Star votes from fans. Fall appreciates the attention, but said his immediate goal is to obtain a standard contract and eventually a spot in the rotation.

“I didn’t want that to happen, but it kinda gave me more motivation to someday earn that right,” he said of the voting. “You know, earn it on the court and then also have the fan votes where it’s like, ‘OK, I’ve really worked hard for this and all these people (are) cheering me on, wanting me to be there, so I’ve really earned it. It’s like, God put me in that position and I earned it.’”

There’s more Celtics news to pass along:

  • Marcus Smart has been fined $35K for “confronting and verbally abusing” officials after Tuesday’s loss to the Nets, the NBA announced (Twitter link). The amount of the fine “reflects his multiple prior violations of acceptable on-court decorum,” the release from the league states.
  • Enes Kanter may see a diminished role for the rest of the season now that the other Celtics centers are finally healthy, observes Alexandra Francisco of MassLive. Kanter has seen a combined 30 minutes over the past three games and didn’t play at all in Saturday’s loss to the Rockets.
  • The short-handed Celtics were able to pull out a win in Cleveland last night because of a career-high 22 points from Semi Ojeleye, writes Mariva Lewter of Heavy. The third-year forward continues to build a reputation by taking advantage of opportunities. “He’s a great worker, he’s a great teammate,” Stevens said. “When everything is not going your way, he’s a guy that you know is in everybody’s corner, and I think that that’s huge when you start talking about team. And you also know he can not play one night and be effective in his role the next.”

Latest On The Dunk Contest Controversy

The judges at Saturday’s dunk contest intended for the event to end in a tie, but their plan failed when three of them awarded nines on Aaron Gordon‘s final jam, according to Malika Andrews and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

After Derrick Jones Jr. and Gordon both received 50s on their first dunks in the dunk-off, Jones finished his night with a running slam from just inside the foul line that received a 48. Gordon sought to clinch the trophy in dramatic fashion by jumping over 7’5″ Celtics rookie Tacko Fall, but after a long wait the judges awarded him three nines and two 10s for a final score of 47.

“We thought it was going to be tied. We were like, ‘This is a tie!'” said hip-hop artist Common, who served as one of the judges. “But somebody didn’t do it right. I don’t know who it is.”

A second judge, Candace Parker, confirmed Common’s comments, saying the intent was for the dunk-off to end in a tie, which would have meant a poll of the judges to determine a winner.

“I really felt it was an even battle, and we, as judges, felt the scores should be even and they should just have a judge-off,” Common said after a breath-taking series of dunks from both competitors. “We had the cards. Put your card up for who had the best dunks.”

Gordon started the event with perfect scores on his first five dunks. He expected a sixth after dunking over Fall, and he and the crowd at the United Center in Chicago were visibly dismayed when the final results left him a point behind Jones. It was a familiar experience for Gordon, who also lost the 2016 dunk contest to Zach LaVine in a controversial decision.

“We’re here to do four dunks,” Gordon told reporters afterward. “It should be the best of four dunks. I did four straight 50s — five straight 50s. That’s over. It’s a wrap. Let’s go home. Four 50s in a row in an NBA dunk contest, it’s over. But I don’t know. Who’s running the show?”

There’s more on the wild finish to All-Star Saturday Night:

  • Despite the controversy, Jones believes he was the rightful winner and was unhappy with the score he received on his final dunk, relays Andre Fernandez of The Athletic“When I got that 48, it was tough because that was a dunk that I was doing since high school,” Jones said. “I know that’s 50-worthy. There’s no way I should have gotten a 48.”
  • Jones also said he could have kept dunking as long as the contest remained tied (video link from Ben Golliver of The Washington Post). “I just turned 23,” said Jones, who had a birthday cake wheeled onto the court before his first dunk. “I’ve got legs for days, bro.”
  • Fall tells Shelburne that his role in Gordon’s final dunk wasn’t pre-arranged (Twitter link). After a night that saw several dunks over other people, Gordon picked out the tallest man in the building. “I was scared for my life,” Fall admitted.
  • Dwyane Wade, one of the three judges who gave Gordon a nine on his final attempt, denied that the score was a favor to Jones, his former Heat teammate. “I wasn’t the only one who gave him a 9, let’s talk about that!” Wade said in a video tweeted by Complex Sports.
  • Several commentators suggested that the controversy may affect the league’s ability to get elite dunkers in future competitions. After watching the event, Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant, who many wanted to see participate this year, tweeted, “Y’all just made my decision easier,” then later sent out a video of American Idol judge Randy Jackson saying, “Yeah, it’s a no from me dawg.”
  • Dwight Howard offered a tribute to Kobe Bryant with his second dunk, taking off his shirt to reveal a Superman jersey underneath, then taking away the S logo to to show a number 24. He told Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times that Bryant had agreed to be part of the dunk before his tragic death last month (Twitter link).