Charles Bassey

Eastern Notes: Watanabe, Boucher, Bassey, Cavaliers, Simmons

The Raptors are expecting more out of 26-year-old forward Yuta Watanabe this fall, Doug Smith of the Toronto Star writes. Watanabe recently competed in the Olympics with Japan, learning to become more aggressive on the offensive end during his time in Tokyo.

“With the international team, I had to be that aggressive every time I touched the ball … so that was a lot different,” he explained. “I understand that my role is not going to be like that with the Raptors, but still … I need to be more aggressive because it makes it a lot easier for my teammates to score. Or I can draw attention, I can pass the ball and they can make shots.

“So definitely, I need to be more aggressive to help my teammates and help my team.”

Watanabe saw his two-way contract converted into a standard deal last April. He’ll be competing for a roster spot during Toronto’s preseason with Freddie Gillespie, Sam Dekker and others this month.

There’s more out of the Eastern Conference tonight:

  • Speaking of the Raptors, big man Chris Boucher recently sustained a dislocated finger, the team announced. Boucher will miss the club’s first preseason game against the Sixers on Monday. He’s coming off the best season of his four-year career, averaging 13.6 points and 6.7 rebounds in 24.2 minutes per contest.
  • Sixers rookie Charles Bassey won’t travel with the team for its game against Toronto, Gina Mizell of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. Bassey signed a contract last week with the organization but still needs to finalize his work visa, Mizell notes.
  • The Cavaliers will be interested in acquiring disgruntled Sixers star Ben Simmons for as long as he’s available, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com tweets. Cleveland could theoretically offload one of Collin Sexton or Darius Garland in any deal, combining that player with Kevin Love‘s contract to match salaries. The club could also try to entice a third team to join any proposal.

Atlantic Notes: Kyrie, Knicks, Vildoza, Bassey, Sixers

Kyrie Irving declined to offer any details on his vaccination status or his plans going forward when asked about the subject on Monday. However, sources believe that the Nets guard will ultimately take the COVID-19 vaccine, says Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports.

According to Goodwill, those sources believe that Irving’s teammate – and good friend – Kevin Durant will help influence that decision. If Kyrie remains unvaccinated and doesn’t receive an exemption from the city of New York, he’d be ineligible to play in the team’s home games, which likely wouldn’t go over especially well with Durant and the rest of Irving’s Nets teammates.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau said today that the team will make a decision on its 15th roster spot after the preseason, per Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News (Twitter link). The team has 14 players on guaranteed contracts, plus Luca Vildoza on a non-guaranteed contract, so Thibodeau’s comments suggest Vildoza certainly isn’t locked into that spot. The Argentine guard, who is coming off a right foot injury, is still in a walking boot, according to Thibodeau.
  • Charles Bassey‘s new three-year deal with the Sixers is worth the minimum and is fully guaranteed in year one, reports Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter link). As previously reported, year two is partially guaranteed, while year three is non-guaranteed. Bassey’s first-year salary ($925,258) and his second-year guarantee ($74,742) add up to exactly $1MM in total guaranteed money, which is almost certainly less than he sought, but isn’t bad at all for a No. 53 pick.
  • The Sixers issued a press release today confirming the previously-reported hire of assistant coach Jamie Young and announcing a few more coaching changes for the 76ers and the Delaware Blue Coats, Philadelphia’s G League affiliate. Dwayne Jones has been promoted to assistant coach/skill development at the NBA level, while Coby Karl will coach the G League team.
  • We passed along several Raptors-related items earlier this afternoon.

Sixers Sign Second-Rounder Charles Bassey

2:25pm: The Sixers have officially announced their deal with Bassey, issuing a press release to confirm the signing.


11:42am: Charles Bassey has agreed to a three-year contract with the Sixers, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. The deal, which provides a full guarantee in the first year and a partial guarantee in the second, was confirmed by his agents, Adie von Gontard and Daveed Cohen.

The 20-year-old center out of Western Kentucky is one of the last players taken in this year’s draft to sign a contract. He was selected with the No. 53 pick, which Philadelphia acquired from the Pelicans for $2MM in a draft-night trade.

The delay in signing reportedly stemmed from Bassey’s desire to get two years of fully guaranteed money, which is unusual for a player drafted that low. A report last month indicated he may sign his non-guaranteed one-year tender rather than agreeing to a multiyear deal, but it sounds like the two sides were able to reach a compromise.

The deal will come out of Philadelphia’s mid-level exception.

Bassey was named Conference USA Player of the Year last season as a junior with the Hilltoppers after averaging 17.6 points, 11.6 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game. He was also selected as a third-team All-American by the U.S. Basketball Writers.

Sixers, Charles Bassey Remain At Impasse In Contract Talks

On the morning of the July 29 draft, the Sixers sent $2MM to the Pelicans in order to acquire the No. 53 pick, which they used later that night on Western Kentucky big man Charles Bassey. However, a month-and-a-half later, Bassey is one of the only 2021 draft picks who remains unsigned.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported two weeks ago that Bassey planned to sign his one-year, non-guaranteed minimum-salary tender from the 76ers. He hasn’t officially accepted that deal yet, leaving the door open for the two sides to come to a longer-term agreement. However, as Derek Bodner of The Athletic details, the Sixers and Bassey remain at an impasse in their negotiations.

Bassey isn’t upset about being selected by Philadelphia or concerned about a possible lack of playing time behind veteran centers Joel Embiid and Andre Drummond, according to Bodner, who says the dispute between the rookie and the team is “purely contractual.”

As Bodner writes, Bassey and his camp made it clear to teams before the draft that he wasn’t interested in signing a two-way contract, and that he’d be seeking a multiyear deal with a two-year guarantee. Sources tell The Athletic that there was one team willing to meet that asking price if Bassey had gone undrafted, which the 76ers and other teams were aware of at the time of the draft.

While the Sixers are willing to give Bassey a spot on their 15-man roster and not just a two-way deal, they’ve only been willing to guarantee his salary for one season on their three-year offer, says Bodner.

In short, Bassey is seeking a contract that matches the offer he believes he would’ve received if he had gone undrafted, while Philadelphia believes it’s offering a deal that’s more than fair for a player drafted at No. 53.

A multiyear guarantee is rare for a player selected that late in the draft — No. 51 pick Brandon Boston did get a two-year guarantee from the Clippers this year, but everyone else picked in that range, including Luka Garza (No. 52), Sandro Mamukelashvili (No. 54), and Aaron Wiggins (No. 55) signed two-way contracts. Besides Boston, no player selected after No. 43 this year has received a full multiyear guarantee. A year ago, the lowest draftee to receive a two-year guarantee was another Sixer: No. 49 pick Isaiah Joe.

According to Bodner, Bassey has been working out at the Sixers’ training facility and has impressed the coaches and front office personnel who have seen him in action, so he should be in the team’s plans for 2021/22 whether he accepts his one-year tender or works out a longer-term agreement.

If he signs the one-year tender, Bassey would be eligible for restricted free agency in 2022, which would give him the opportunity to bet on himself at that point. If he were to accept Philadelphia’s current offer instead, the 20-year-old would be under team control for two more years, but with no real security, since his salaries for those years would be non-guaranteed.

Charles Bassey Plans To Sign Required Tender From Sixers

Rookie center Charles Bassey, one of the last unsigned players from the 2021 draft class, intends to sign his required one-year tender from the Sixers, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic. According to Charania, Bassey and the 76ers have thus far been unable to agree to terms on a longer-term deal.

In order to retain the rights to a second-round draft pick, an NBA team must submit a “required tender” to him. That tender is equivalent to offering a non-guaranteed minimum-salary contract covering just a single season, so it provides no assurances or security to the player.

Bassey, the No. 53 overall pick, may view signing that tender as his best path to either earning a 15-man roster spot with the Sixers or forcing the team to waive him before the season begins, allowing him to catch on elsewhere.

The Sixers only have 14 players on standard contracts for the time being, so Bassey could theoretically become the team’s 15th man for the regular season. However, Philadelphia may prefer to keep that last spot open to reduce its projected tax bill — it’s unclear if the 76ers want to stash Bassey overseas or in the G League, or if the rookie simply hasn’t been satisfied with the years and dollars the team is offering.

If he signs his tender and then is released by Philadelphia before the regular season starts, Bassey wouldn’t be eligible to sign a two-way contract with another NBA team during the 2021/22 league year, which would significantly reduce his options.

Bassey, 20, played his college ball at Western Kentucky, averaging a double-double (17.6 PPG, 11.6 RPG) as a junior in 2020/21 before declaring for the draft.

Checking In On Unsigned 2021 NBA Draft Picks

When Usman Garuba officially signed his rookie contract with Houston earlier this week, he became the 30th and final first-round pick from the 2021 draft to sign his first NBA deal. There will be no draft-and-stash players among this year’s first-rounders — they’re all now officially on NBA rosters.

As our tracker shows, another 23 second-rounders from this year’s draft class have also signed their first NBA contracts or – in Joe Wieskamp‘s case – agreed to a deal that should be officially completed soon.

That leaves just seven prospects from 2021’s 60-player draft class who have yet to be signed. They are as follows:

  1. New York Knicks: Rokas Jokubaitis, G, Lithuania
  2. Boston Celtics: Juhann Begarin, G, France
  3. Brooklyn Nets: Marcus Zegarowski, G, Creighton
  4. Philadelphia 76ers: Filip Petrusev, F, Serbia
  5. Philadelphia 76ers: Charles Bassey, C, Western Kentucky
  6. Detroit Pistons: Balsa Koprivica, C, Florida State
  7. Brooklyn Nets: RaiQuan Gray, F, Florida State

Of these seven players, at least three appear on track to spend the 2021/22 season in Europe. Jokubaitis returned to his team in Barcelona following his Summer League stint with the Knicks, while Petrusev signed with Turkish team Anadolu Efes after playing for the Sixers in Summer League. Begarin, who also played in Summer League for the Celtics, will likely end up heading back overseas to France

That leaves just four true unsigned second-round picks, including a pair of Nets. It will be interesting to see what Brooklyn’s plans are for Zegarowski and Gray. The team currently has 13 players on guaranteed contracts and one on a two-way deal, so there could conceivably be room for Zegarowski on the 15-man squad, with Gray getting the other two-way deal.

However, DeAndre’ Bembry has a partially guaranteed contract and looks like a good bet to make the Nets’ regular-season roster, and Reggie Perry (free agent) and David Duke (Exhibit 10) are among the other candidates to get a two-way deal from the team. It’s also not clear if Brooklyn intends to carry a full 15-man roster to start the season, since leaving a roster spot open would create major tax savings for the franchise.

I could envision a scenario in which Zegarowski signs a two-way contract and Gray signs a G League deal to play for the Long Island Nets, but that’s just my speculation. There are still a number of ways the Nets could go.

Meanwhile, prospects drafted in the 50s like Bassey (No. 53) and Koprivica (No. 57) are generally good candidates for two-way deals, but the Sixers and Pistons have recently filled both of their two-way openings. Perhaps Philadelphia envisions Bassey taking Anthony Tolliver‘s spot on the 15-man roster, since Tolliver is on a non-guaranteed contract.

It’ll be trickier for Detroit to find a roster spot for Koprivica. The Pistons already have 15 players on guaranteed contracts and still may re-sign restricted free agent Hamidou Diallo. Stashing Koprivica overseas or in the G League could be the plan. Koprivica was born and raised in Serbia, so he might be more comfortable spending a season overseas than a typical NCAA draftee would be.

Atlantic Notes: Barnes, Raptors Picks, Mann, Jackson, MacLeay

Projected lottery pick Scottie Barnes worked out for the Raptors on Tuesday, Jonathan Givony and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports. Toronto holds the No. 4 pick and Florida State’s Barnes is the top-rated small forward on ESPN’s Best Available list, though he’s ranked No. 6 overall.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Raptors have back-to-back second-round picks at No. 46 and No. 47 and Blake Murphy of The Athletic takes a look at a dozen prospects the front office might consider at those spots. Georgia Tech’s Moses Wright and Michigan’s Isaiah Livers are among the players profiled.
  • Tre Mann, Charles Bassey, Ayo Dosunmu and Isaiah Jackson worked out for the Knicks on Tuesday, Ian Begley of SNY.TV reports. New York has picks at No. 19, 21 and 32. Kentucky forward Jackson (No. 19 on ESPN’s list) and Florida guard Mann (No. 22) are the highest-rated prospects among that group.
  • The Celtics have hired DJ MacLeay away from the Sixers as a player enhancement coach, Clevis Murray reports (via Twitter). He’s been Philadelphia’s video coordinator the last three seasons.

Southeast Workouts: Wizards, Magic, Hornets, Hawks

The Wizards worked out six draft prospects today, and there are four more scheduled for tomorrow, according to team announcements. Western Kentucky’s Charles Bassey, Texas’ Greg Brown III, and Isaiah Todd, of the G League Ignite, headlined today’s workouts, along with Jay Huff, Blake Francis, and Colbey Ross.

Tomorrow’s slate of workouts will include Troy Baxter Jr., Obadiah Noel, Jamorko Pickett, and Devontae Shuler.

We have more draft workout news from around the Southeast Division:

  • Corey Kispert, the sharp-shooting senior out of Gonzaga, worked out today for the Magic, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic. The 6’6″ guard/forward would fill a much-needed role for a Magic team that is well-stocked at some positions but still low on shooters.
  • The Hornets worked out potential lottery pick Jalen Johnson today, according to a tweet from the team. Johnson had a turbulent year at Duke, and eventually withdrew from the program, but came in with a high pedigree and an intriguing point-forward skillset.
  • Ruot Monyyong, out of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, will work out for the Hawks on Wednesday, tweets Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. The 6’10 big man was the 2019/20 All-Sun Defensive Player of the Year.

Draft Notes: Monyyong, Hornets, Bleijenbergh, Castleton

Little Rock big man Ruot Monyyong is set to work out for the Kings on July 8, tweets Jason Jones of The Athletic. Jones adds that the 6’10” Monyyong was the 2020 Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year and was twice named to the All-Sun Belt team during his college career. Monyyong averaged 11.9 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 1.8 BPG, 1.5 APG, and 0.9 SPG across his two NCAA seasons.

There’s more on the draft:

  • The Hornets tweeted their draft prospect workouts for Saturday, July 3. The club took a look at the following players: Western Kentucky center Charles Bassey, Marquette guard D.J. Carton, Oregon guard Chris Duarte, Tennessee guard Keon Johnson, Kentucky forward Isaiah Jackson, and Alabama guard Joshua Primo. Charlotte currently possesses the No. 11 and No. 56 picks in the upcoming 2021 draft.
  • 6’10” Belgian wing Vrenz Bleijenbergh has pre-draft workouts scheduled with the Thunder, Grizzlies, Pistons and Kings, tweets Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report. Wasserman notes that the oversized small forward is thought of as a solid play-maker and shooter.
  • Florida power forward Colin Castleton plans to return to school for the 2021/22 season, and will accordingly withdraw from the 2021 NBA draft, tweets Jeff Goodman of Stadium. The 6’11” Castleton averaged 12.4 PPG, 6.4 RPG, and 1.1 APG last season.

Full List Of 2021 NBA Draft Combine Participants

The NBA has revealed via press release its list of 69 players who have been invited to next week’s draft combine in Chicago and who are expected to attend. The combine will take place from June 21-17.

While several of the prominent names at the top of the draft will opt to skip the event – most notably, presumed number one pick Cade Cunningham and Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs – there are several high-profile prospects set to attend. Evan Mobley, widely considered a likely choice for the No. 2 pick as well as potential top-five picks Jonathan Kuminga and Jalen Green headline the class of participants this year, along with potential lottery picks Moses Moody, Corey Kispert and Scottie Barnes.

According to the press release, players will conduct interviews with NBA teams, participate in five-on-five games, and go through shooting, strength and agility drills throughout the week-long event. It’s likely that the more high-profile names will focus more on the interviews than the drills.

The press release also confirms that a select number of standout players from the G League Elite Camp will be invited to participate in the Combine as well.

Here’s the full list of 69 names announced by the NBA today, in alphabetical order:

  1. Max Abmas, G, Oral Roberts (sophomore)
  2. Ochai Agbaji, G, Kansas (junior)
  3. Marcus Bagley, F, Arizona State (freshman)
  4. Scottie Barnes, F, Florida State (freshman)
  5. Charles Bassey, C, Western Kentucky (junior)
  6. Brandon Boston Jr., G/F, Kentucky (freshman)
  7. James Bouknight, G, UConn (sophomore)
  8. Greg Brown, F, Texas (freshman)
  9. Jared Butler, G, Baylor (junior)
  10. Julian Champagnie, G/F, St. John’s (sophomore)
  11. Justin Champagnie, G/F, Pittsburgh (sophomore)
  12. Josh Christopher, G, Arizona State (freshman)
  13. Sharife Cooper, G, Auburn (freshman)
  14. Ayo Dosunmu, G, Illinois (junior)
  15. David Duke, G, Providence (junior)
  16. Kessler Edwards, F, Pepperdine (junior)
  17. Luka Garza, C, Iowa (senior)
  18. RaiQuan Gray, F, Florida State (junior)
  19. Jalen Green, G, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  20. Quentin Grimes, G, Houston (junior)
  21. Sam Hauser, F, Virginia (senior)
  22. Aaron Henry, G/F, Michigan State (junior)
  23. Ariel Hukporti, C, Lithuania (born 2002)
  24. Matthew Hurt, F, Duke (sophomore)
  25. Nah’Shon Hyland, G, VCU (sophomore)
  26. Isaiah Jackson, F, Kentucky (freshman)
  27. David Johnson, G, Louisville (sophomore)
  28. Jalen Johnson, F, Duke (freshman)
  29. Keon Johnson, G, Tennessee (freshman)
  30. Herb Jones, F, Alabama (senior)
  31. Kai Jones, F, Texas (sophomore)
  32. Johnny Juzang, G/F, UCLA (sophomore)
  33. Corey Kispert, F, Gonzaga (senior)
  34. Jonathan Kuminga, F, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  35. Scottie Lewis, G, Florida (sophomore)
  36. Isaiah Livers, F, Michigan (senior)
  37. Makur Maker, C, Howard (freshman)
  38. Sandro Mamukelashvili, F/C, Seton Hall (senior)
  39. Tre Mann, G, Florida (sophomore)
  40. Matthew Mayer, G/F, Baylor (junior)
  41. Miles McBride, G, West Virginia (sophomore)
  42. Davion Mitchell, G, Baylor (junior)
  43. Evan Mobley, F/C, USC (freshman)
  44. Isaiah Mobley, F, USC (sophomore)
  45. Moses Moody, G, Arkansas (freshman)
  46. Trey Murphy III, G, Virginia (junior)
  47. Daishen Nix, G, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  48. John Petty Jr., G, Alabama (senior)
  49. Yves Pons, G/F, Tennessee (senior)
  50. Jason Preston, G, Ohio (junior)
  51. Joshua Primo, G, Alabama (freshman)
  52. Roko Prkacin, F, Croatia (born 2002)
  53. Neemias Queta, C, Utah State (junior)
  54. Austin Reaves, G, Oklahoma (senior)
  55. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, F, Villanova (sophomore)
  56. Terrence Shannon Jr., G/F, Texas Tech (sophomore)
  57. Day’Ron Sharpe, F/C, North Carolina (freshman)
  58. Jericho Sims, F/C, Texas (senior)
  59. Jaden Springer, G, Tennessee (freshman)
  60. DJ Steward, G, Duke (freshman)
  61. Cameron Thomas, G, LSU (freshman)
  62. JT Thor, F, Auburn (freshman)
  63. Isaiah Todd, F, G League Ignite (auto-eligible)
  64. Trendon Watford, F, LSU (sophomore)
  65. Joe Wieskamp, G/F, Iowa (junior)
  66. Ziaire Williams, F, Stanford (freshman)
  67. McKinley Wright IV, G, Colorado (senior)
  68. Moses Wright, F, Georgia Tech (senior)
  69. Marcus Zegarowski, G, Creighton (junior)