Sixers Big Man Going All Out in Offseason Training

Philadelphia 76ers, Charles Bassey

Getty Steven Adams #4 of the Memphis Grizzlies shoots over Charles Bassey #23 of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Heading into training camp, one major question for the Philadelphia 76ers is how they plan to address the backup center position. Over the years, there has been a revolving door of veterans who have played behind Joel Embiid. However, Daryl Morey’s flurry of offseason moves did not include signing a frontcourt presence for the second unit.

As it stands, the backup center role will be addressed in-house this season. Among those competing for time behind Embiid are Paul Reed and Charles Bassey.

After being drafted 53rd overall in 2021, Bassey did not see much time at the NBA level. The 21-year-old logged a total of 168 minutes across 23 games. Despite the minimal exposure, Bassey still managed to show some nice flashes. His best performance came on November 18th, when he tallied 12 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks against Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets. 

Like most of his teammates, Bassey has been hard at work getting ready for this season. Recent footage showed the young center training outside in the pouring rain. With a rotation spot up for grabs, he is not letting anything get in his way.

Earlier this summer, he was also spotted getting live reps in with All-Star teammate James Harden.

Can Charles Bassey Secure the Backup Center Role Next Season?

Given the options they have at their disposal, it’s likely Doc Rivers fills the non-Embiid minutes by committee. That being said, Charles Bassey will be the go-to option when the Sixers need size behind the MVP runner-up.

Last season, the Sixers were one of the worst rebounding teams in the league. Their 39 rebounds per game in the playoffs ranked 13th among the 16 eligible teams. During the regular season, only the Houston Rockets grabbed fewer boards than them a night. 

Given this glaring area of need, utilizing Paul Reed or P.J. Tucker as a small-ball center could be problematic at times. At six-foot-11, 235 pounds, Bassey has the size and strength to be a force on the glass.

During his time in the G-League last year, Bassey averaged 10.2 RPG across 17 matchups. He also showed his potential as a rim protector with his 3.4 BPG. Between the need for rebounding and defensive prowess, the young prospect will get an opportunity to showcase his skills moving forward. 

Sixers Free Agent Target Eyeing Eastern Conference Rival

Throughout the offseason, the Sixers have been linked to multiple veteran big men who could fill the backup center spot. Among the group was Philly native Markieff Morris. Not only were there reports of the Sixers having interest, but the 32-year-old also openly stated his desire to suit up for his hometown team.

Since this social media interaction occurred, there has been no traction on Morris signing a deal with Philly. Now, he could be on his way to an Eastern Conference rival. Chris Milholen of NetsDaily recently reported that the Brooklyn Nets are interested in signing Morris. With the Kevin Durant saga coming to an end, they can re-focus on putting together a contending roster.

Morris only played in 17 games for the Miami Heat last season after missing a majority of the season with a neck injury. In that time, he averaged 7.6 PPG, 2.6 RPG, and 1.4 APG.

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