Charles Bassey’s absence from the Las Vegas Summer League has been the other (read: non Ben Simmons) offseason drama unfolding for the Philadelphia 76ers. The rookie big man from Western Kentucky has yet to sign a contract with training camp less than three weeks away.
The Sixers traded $2 million in cash to acquire the 53rd overall pick in the NBA draft and used it on Bassey. He averaged 17.6 points and 11.6 rebounds per game in his final college season. He was a finalist for the Lute Olson National Player of the Year, too.
According to The Athletic’s Derek Bodner, Bassey has impressed the Sixers’ coaching staff and front office personnel with his play on the court. That’s not the problem. What is going on is that the 6-foot-11 defensive-minded big man wasn’t interested in signing a two-way contract. Bassey wants a multi-year contract with a two-year guarantee, per Bodner.
Bassey has yet to formally sign the one-year, non-guaranteed required tender, per sources, which leaves open the possibility that a multi-year deal could still happen if the two sides can reach an agreement. But neither side has moved far off of their initial positions, and most agree that it is likely Bassey winds up signing the required tender and becoming a free agent next summer.
One other misconception has been that Bassey was upset over the Sixers’ decision to sign backup center Andre Drummond. While that move could conceivably affect his minutes this season, that isn’t the issue. He just wants a deal on par with the one the Los Angeles Clippers gave Brandon Boston Jr. – three years at $4.3 million – who was selected two picks prior to Bassey.
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Watch Out for Paul Reed in Year 2
Second-year player Paul Reed was the buzz of summer-league play after a 27-point, 20-rebound performance in Las Vegas. The reigning G League MVP has certainly stated the case that he deserves minutes in 2021. Reed – the 58th overall pick in 2020 – recently posted a Rocky Balboa-esque highlight reel on social media to increase the excitement around him. In it, Bball Paul calls himself “born ready.”
Sixers assistant Brian Adams coached the Las Vegas Summer League squad and walked away impressed with Reed. They are counting on the youngster to be a key role player for them in 2021 after being named All-Summer League Second Team.
“You see his length,” Adams told reporters on Aug. 19. “He can block shots at the rim, he can get steals. He did all that, and I think it’s a great thing for him to gain momentum, to see just do the little things and the rest will come.”
Chris Webber Inducted into Hall of Fame
Chris Webber’s three-year stop in Philadelphia was a brief footnote on his legendary career. On Saturday, the one-time Rookie of the Year was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.
The 48-year-old reflected on his time in Philly prior to his enshrinement (via The Athletic’s Shams Charania), including what playing with Allen Iverson meant to him. He only suited up in 114 games for the Sixers and expressed regret on not getting there when his knees were healthy.
“A.I. is the best athlete that I’ve ever seen in my life. Period,” Webber said. “He’s the best player I’ve ever played with. Period. And I wish I could have got there before — I wish I could have got there with a good knee.”
Webber also threw love on the Philly faithful and thanked them for supporting him at the end of his run.
“I think about the fans of Philly, and they get a terrible rap, but they showed me love when they shouldn’t have,” Webber said. “They showed me at a time where they didn’t have to.”