The Philadelphia 76ers have officially quelled an offseason drama that had persisted throughout the summer. No, Ben Simmons hasn’t been traded — and reconciliation doesn’t appear to be around the corner, either — but another baller is finally set to join the team.
Charles Bassey, Philly’s pick at No. 53 overall in the 2021 NBA draft, is finally putting pen to paper on a deal with the club. Word of the agreement was first reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania; confirmation from the team came shortly thereafter.
Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer also tweeted this picture:
Per Charania, Bassey is joining the Sixers on a three-year rookie deal. The first year of the contract will be fully guaranteed while year two will come with a partial guarantee. It was those guarantees (or the lack thereof) that had been at the heart of the discord between the rookie and his new club, according to reports.
The Sixers’ Other Summer Drama
As noted by Heavy’s Mike Greger, Bassey’s absence from NBA Summer League action was a curious development for a second-round pick trying to secure a spot in the league. However, his security was said to be at the heart of his decision not to play.
Per The Athletic’s Derek Bodner, the 6-foot-10 center wasn’t interested in signing the one-year, non-guaranteed required tender the Sixers had extended him. He wanted multiple years and guaranteed money. It was a development that apparently “caught the team off guard.” Moreover, it paved the way for chatter about Bassey not wanting to be in Philly or being miffed by the Andre Drummond signing.
Neither of those was the case, however. According to Bodner, Bassey just wasn’t interested in becoming a two-way signee. And, despite the fact that he had remained unsigned, Bassey had been working out at the Sixers’ training facility.
The issues that had arisen between the two sides were purely contractual. Now, though, Bassey and the Sixers look to be moving in lockstep.
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A Big-Time Prospect
From his humble beginnings as a street vendor selling fried chicken in his native Lagos, Bassey has evolved into a big-time hoops prospect. Over his three-year run at Western Kentucky, he averaged a double-double at 15.9 points and 10.5 rebounds per contest.
In his final go-round with the Hilltoppers, he was named both the Conference USA Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. Bassey was only the fourth player in C-USA history to earn POY and DPOY honors in the same season. He was also a third-team All-American.
At the 2021 NBA draft combine, Bassey had the fourth-largest wingspan of any player measured at 7-foot-3. His standing reach of 8-foot-11.5 was also a top-seven mark. Those attributes helped him average 3.1 blocks per game during his final collegiate season.
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