A few years ago I remember watching a video of a giant high school basketball player who DOMINATED AAU ball. This young kid picked the University of Central-Florida to play collegiate basketball and ended up being 7’6” center, Tacko Fall.
Fall recently wrapped up his senior year at UCF and there is no indication of him being drafted, even in the second round. Teams like the Lakers, Knicks, Magic and Hornets have worked him out but he is still on the draft bubble. This means Milwaukee will have a chance to add him to the team. His size alone, 7’6” (8’0”+ wingspan) and 289 pounds with only 6.8% body fat makes current NBA giant, Boban Marjanovic, seem small. His standing reach is an astonishing 10’3,” meaning he can dunk without jumping. Honestly, I would draft him based on that alone. If Fall gets drafted by Milwaukee, he will be 23-years-old which makes him an older prospect, but he’s only been playing basketball for 5-6 years in the U.S. so there’s still plenty to learn. Given Tacko Fall’s size, his downfall is his quickness and mobility. Anything outside of the paint, Fall struggles to get done both offensively and defensively but that is why a team should use him in a very specific role. However, a former Atlanta Hawks GM said, “I’m impressed with how easily he moves.” If you need that key rebound or to shut down a big who struggles with an outside game, Fall is your guy. A team could even use him in late game situations to make an inbound pass difficult. Also, Fall is incredible at scoring putbacks and finishing around the rim. At 7’6” not too many players can challenge him up top and that is why Fall shot nearly 75% throughout his college career. When asked about his offensive game in an interview all Tacko had to say was, “I’m an easy target. I’m hard to miss.” Best case scenario, Tacko Fall is Bismack Biyombo for a fraction of the cost and worst case scenario, Tacko Fall is Hasheem Thabeet.
Last season Fall played in 33 games and averaged 11.1 points per game, 7.6 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks. His defensive rating per 100 possessions was a dominating 90.7. In perhaps the most intriguing game of the season, UCF met Duke in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. He scored 15 points on 70% shooting, grabbed 6 rebounds, and blocked 3 shots. Before the game, when asked about Zion Williamson dunking on him, Fall said, “I won’t allow it. I won’t allow Zion to put me on one of his highlight tapes.” Tacko stayed true to his word. In another game during the season, he showcased his takeover capabilities. In a regular season matchup against SMU, he scored 23 points on 11-14 shooting, pulled down 20 rebounds, and blocked 2 shots. Speaking of blocks, Tacko Fall had 5 or more blocks in more than 20% of UCF’s games. Fall knows his role, in a statement during draft workouts he said, “I’m a great defensive player. I can impact the game in that way the most.” By excelling at his role, Tacko Fall was able to make the 2018-19 All-AAC Team.
If I am a GM, I’m taking Fall in the second round, or in Milwaukee’s case, at the end of the first. He has a very specific skill set but a skill set teams should want. The Bucks need a backup center, the last mock draft I checked on nbadraft.net had the Bucks selecting Naz Reid at 30. If Milwaukee needs a center, why not take one that can make an impact immediately. At 30th overall, Milwaukee can take a chance. Plus, he is extremely marketable so Horst should see dollar signs when he sees Tacko Fall. I know I’d buy a Tacko Fall jersey if he got drafted. At the end of the day, the NBA is a business and Tacko Fall would help Milwaukee in all facets, on the court and off.