Charles Bassey

Sixers Notes: Expectations, Joe, Bassey, Harris, Reed

In his preview of the coming season in Philadelphia, John Hollinger of The Athletic wonders whether the NBA world is sleeping on the Sixers after last season’s fourth-place finish and second-round exit.

As Hollinger outlines, signing P.J. Tucker, Danuel House, and Montrezl Harrell while trading for De’Anthony Melton – whom Hollinger refers to as one of the NBA’s most underrated players – helped shore up virtually all of the roster’s glaring holes, and the time might be right for the 76ers to break through in the Eastern Conference.

Hollinger is expecting big things from this year’s team, predicting that Philadelphia will finish the 2022/23 season with the second-best record in the East and will win the title, with Joel Embiid earning MVP honors.

Here’s more on the Sixers:

  • The Sixers are relieved not to have this year’s training camp dominated by questions about Ben Simmons‘ holdout, like last year’s was, writes Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Head coach Doc Rivers told reporters that it’s “nice not having to deal with this stuff,” while Georges Niang suggested everyone on the roster is on the same page heading into this season. “We know who we have and you know who’s in your circle and you feel like you can build,” Niang said. “With all of us last year, it was kind of like we didn’t know who was going to get traded, who was going to come back. I think it’s good to just know who’s going to be here.”
  • Isaiah Joe, whose minimum-salary contract is non-guaranteed, isn’t a lock to make the Sixers’ regular season roster, but he says he’s not stressing about his future, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “My mindset through this is as long as I’m the best version of myself, I believe that I will be all right,” Joe said. “I believe that I will be all right, especially with the guys that we got.” Pompey suggests that the last spot on Philadelphia’s roster could come down to Joe, Trevelin Queen, and Charles Bassey, with Bassey perhaps the longest shot to make the team.
  • Originally cast as the Sixers’ third star, Tobias Harris now finds himself fourth in the pecking order behind Embiid, James Harden, and Tyrese Maxey. In a separate story for The Philadelphia Inquirer, Pompey explores how Harris will adjust to his new role.
  • The acquisition of Harrell seemed likely to make Paul Reed the third center on the 76ers’ depth chart, but he continues to serve as the primary backup center to Embiid so far in the preseason, Pompey writes for The Inquirer. Even Reed himself has been somewhat surprised by that decision. “I was a little shocked,” he said. “But at the same time, I still want to stay humble, you know? I don’t want to get too big-headed, you know? I want to keep doing what I’m supposed to be doing so I can keep earning more trust and keep getting more minutes.”

Atlantic Notes: Layman, J. Jackson, Celtics, Raptors, Sixers

When they signed with the Celtics, Jake Layman and Justin Jackson both received one-year, minimum-salary contracts that are non-guaranteed. However, the terms of those agreements are slightly different — Layman got an Exhibit 10 clause in his contract, while Jackson’s deal is an Exhibit 9, Hoops Rumors has learned.

Both Layman and Jackson are ineligible to have their contracts converted into two-way deals because they have too many years of NBA service under their belts. But Layman’s Exhibit 10 contract makes him eligible to receive a $50K bonus if he’s waived before the season and then spends at least 60 days with the Maine Celtics, Boston’s G League team.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

Sixers Notes: New Arena Plan, Joe, Reed, Bassey

The Sixers announced on Thursday morning that they’ve created a new development company, named 76 Devcorp, to spearhead a $1.3 billion project to build a privately funded downtown arena, as Tim Bontemps of ESPN details. The 76ers’ lease at Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia expires in 2031 and the team is aiming to move into a new arena for the 2031/32 season.

“We know the best thing, we believe, for the city, for our fans and for our organization, is to be downtown in a state-of-the-art facility that’s going to be privately funded by our ownership team,” team president Tad Brown told ESPN. “And that’s going to create a brand-new environment, a whole new environment, that’s going to also really give a great economic boost in a development boost to a part of town that really needs it.”

According to Brown and Philadelphia business leader David Adelman, who will head up 76 Devcorp, there are currently no plans to accelerate the project to move into the new arena prior to 2031.

As Bontemps writes, it’s unclear whether the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers – who currently share the Wells Fargo Center – would accompany the Sixers in their downtown move. Brown said the 76ers would like to have the Flyers join them, but intend to move forward with the project regardless of the NHL team’s plan.

Here’s more on the Sixers

Atlantic Notes: Boucher, Lillard, Knicks, Ainge, Celtics, Bassey

Raptors big man Chris Boucher is set to enter unrestricted free agency this summer, but he hasn’t thought much about it to this point. Boucher ended his season with a 25-point, 10-rebound effort off the bench in Game 6, telling reporters how much he h as valued the Raptors and Toronto.

“I love Toronto and Toronto did a lot for me …. from the player I was to where I am now, I owe it all to Toronto,” he said, per Michael Grange of Sportsnet (Twitter link).

As Grange notes, it’s clear where Boucher’s heart lies. However, he’ll likely receive interest from multiple teams on the open market, as he averaged 9.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 21.1 minutes per game this season. He also shot 46% from the floor and played 80 games.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division tonight:

  • Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard, long considered a potential Knicks trade target, is no longer intrigued by New York’s plan, Marc Berman of the New York Post reports. The Knicks finished with the 11th-best record in the East at 37-45 this season after finishing fourth in the East at 41-31 last season. Instead of targeting Lillard, New York could shift its focus to Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, whose team was recently eliminated in the first round.
  • Despite taking a job with the Jazz, Danny Ainge still keeps tabs on the Celtics, Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe writes. Ainge left the Celtics last June and joined the Jazz as CEO last December. He worked in the Celtics’ front office for 18 years.
  • Sixers rookie Charles Bassey practiced in full with the team on Saturday, Kyle Neubeck of tweets. Bassey has been dealing with a shoulder sprain. The 21-year-old big man could be available for the club’s series against Miami, which could be important with Joel Embiid out indefinitely. Bassey averaged 18.3 points, 10.1 rebounds and 3.6 blocks for the team’s G League affiliate this season, playing 28.6 minutes per contest.

NBA G League Announces 2021/22 All-NBAGL Teams

Rockets two-way player Trevelin Queen, who was named the NBA G League MVP and the G League Finals MVP this season, has added two more honors to his impressive 2021/22 résumé.

Queen headlined this year’s All-NBA G League First Team and also earned a spot on the NBAGL’s All-Defensive team, as the league announced today in a press release.

The complete list of the 2021/22 All-NBA G League teams, along with the All-Rookie and All-Defensive squads, is below. Players who finished the season on NBA contracts are noted with an asterisk (*), while those on two-way contracts are noted with a caret (^).

All-NBAGL First Team

All-NBAGL Second Team

All-NBAGL Third Team

NBAGL All-Rookie Team

  • Charles Bassey (Delaware Blue Coats) *
  • Luka Garza (Motor City Cruise) *
  • Carlik Jones (Texas Legends)
  • Mac McClung (South Bay Lakers) ^
  • Micah Potter (Sioux Falls Skyforce)

NBAGL All-Defensive Team

  • Charles Bassey (Delaware Blue Coats) *
  • Braxton Key (Delaware Blue Coats) ^
  • Tacko Fall (Cleveland Charge)
  • Shaquille Harrison (Delaware Blue Coats)
  • Trevelin Queen (Rio Grande Valley Vipers) ^

All 19 players who earned a spot on one of the G League’s All-NBAGL, All-Rookie, or All-Defensive teams this year were on some form of standard, two-way, or 10-day NBA contract during the 2021/22 season.

Of those 19, Tillman is the only player who has yet to make his NBA debut, as he didn’t appear in any games after signing a 10-day deal with Atlanta in December.

Sixers Notes: Rivers, Thybulle, Green, Jordan, Bassey

Should the Sixers suffer an early playoff exit, there has been speculation that coach Doc Rivers might be on the hot seat, and with Frank Vogel expected to be fired after the season, Rivers has surfaced as a name to watch for the Lakers‘ head coaching job.

Kyle Neubeck of explores the topic of whether Rivers makes sense as a candidate in Los Angeles — assuming he’d even be interested in the job. Neubeck states that Rivers deserves credit for publicly embracing the team’s championship aspirations, but it could lead to him being the fall guy if the Sixers fail to make a significant postseason run.

Here’s more on Philadelphia:

  • A league source tells Neubeck that there’s no indication that Matisse Thybulle has changed his stance about getting vaccinated. Toronto won Friday night, clinching at least the No. 5 seed in the East. As ESPN’s Tim Bontemps notes (via Twitter), the Bucks will either be the No.2 or the No. 3 seed after Friday’s victory, and the Sixers can finish no better than third, because Milwaukee holds the tiebreaker. Point being, the odds have increased that the Sixers could face the Raptors in the first round of the playoffs.
  • Rivers was vague in his response to Thybulle being ineligible to play in Toronto, per Gina Minzell of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link). “It’s one game tonight. We’ll go from there,” Rivers said before Thursday’s meeting. When asked how it might impact the team in the postseason, Rivers said, “We don’t know who we’re playing yet, so we’ll just handle that when it comes.” Philly lost to Toronto this week in Thybulle’s absence.
  • Veteran Danny Green says he’s not happy about the situation with Thybulle, but it wasn’t clear from his wording whether he’s displeased about the rule that unvaccinated foreign nationals can’t enter Canada, or with Thybulle himself.  I’m not happy about it. It is an opportunity for myself and other guys to get more minutes on the road with James [Harden] and other rotations, but I think we’re a better team when we’re whole and we have everybody,” Green said. He added that it was tough to evaluate the team when it isn’t whole. “Most guys, I don’t want to say [are] disappointed, but. … it’s still a point in the season when we’re still trying to gauge who we are, where we are. The only way to do that is to have everybody together. It’s tough to do that when we don’t have everybody” (Twitter thread courtesy of Mizell).
  • DeAndre Jordan has been positive locker room presence for the Sixers, Mizell writes in a story for The Inquirer. Jordan has served as the team’s primary backup center after being waived by the Lakers.
  • Rookie Charles Bassey suffered a right shoulder sprain and missed his game with the team’s G League affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats, per Derek Bodner of The Daily Six (Twitter link). Bassey will be reevaluated in about 10 days. The 21-year-old hasn’t played much at the NBA level, appearing in 23 games with an average of 7.3 minutes per contest, but he’s been productive when given opportunities.

Atlantic Notes: Curry, Bassey, Riller, Fournier

Seth Curry has been one of the bright spots in the early portion of the season for the Sixers, averaging a career-high 15.7 PPG with an outstanding shooting line of .515/.443/.935. Curry recently spoke to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype about a number of topics, including the early portion of his career, his breakout season, the Ben Simmons situation, career goals, and more.

Scotto asked Curry what has led him to the breakout season he’s having. Curry says he’s a well-rounded offensive player, no matter who’s in the lineup.

I think I’m a pretty versatile player. I can catch and shoot, stretch the floor, play off guys who draw a lot of attention like Joel [Embiid] and Ben [Simmons]. When those guys are out, I feel like I can play in the pick-and-roll. My mid-range game is pretty good. I think I can put the ball on the floor and score. I just pride myself on being able to do a lot of different things offensively and taking good shots,” Curry said.

The interview is worth checking out in full.

Here’s more from the Atlantic:

  • Sixers rookie center Charles Bassey, the last 2021 draft pick to sign a contract, recently flashed significant potential in Embiid’s absence, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • Sixers two-way player Grant Riller has recovered from meniscus surgery and is now playing in the G League, tweets Gina Mizell of the Inquirer.
  • Knicks guard Evan Fournier knows he needs to bring more to the table earlier in the game in light of his recent fourth-quarter benchings, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. “I think the situation right now is I don’t know how many minutes I’m going to play, so I have to have the mindset of if I’m going to play 20 minutes, then just come out the gate with extreme energy,” Fournier said. “Being very alert. Being ultra-aggressive. And trying to have an impact.”

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 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.