Sixers Rookie G-League Star Could Land Joel Embiid Backup Spot

Charles Bassey

Getty Images Charles Bassey

The Philadelphia 76ers 2022 postseason has gotten off to a great start as the team has jumped out to a commanding 2-0 over the Toronto Raptors. The Sixers have won both games in dominant fashion as they’ve won by an average of 17.5 points per game.

While the Sixers are off to a strong start in the playoffs the team still has weaknesses. One of the most glaring weaknesses is that the team doesn’t have a reliable backup for Joel Embiid.

When Embiid goes to the bench the Sixers have struggled all season. The good news for the team is that they might already have a viable backup for the future.

Racking Up the Honors

The G-League’s season recently ended with the Sixers affiliate Delaware Blue Coats losing to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in the finals. Sixers rookie Charles Bassey helped lead the Blue Coats to the finals this season with a spectacular performance.

In the G-League this season Bassey averaged 18.9 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks per game this season. The 21-year-old also shot a blistering 64.9% from the field.

After that type of performance, it’s no surprise that the G-League took notice. Bassey was selected to the All-NBA G-League Second Team, the All-Defensive Team, and the All-Rookie Team.

It appears that the Sixers might have found a diamond in the rough in Bassey after drafting him in the second round with the 53rd overall pick of the 2021 NBA Draft. Bassey wasn’t always overlooked though.

Out of high school, Bassey was the ninth-ranked recruit in the country according to sports reference. Out of high school, he committed to Western Kentucky where he spent three seasons, averaging 15.9 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.

Bassey did play for the Sixers in 23 games this season where he got just 7.3 minutes and averaged 3.0 and 2.7 rebounds per game. He’s been out since April 8 with a sprained right shoulder. While he is on the Sixers postseason roster it’s unlikely he’ll play much when he’s available this postseason.

Bassey’s play this season has to have the Sixers excited about his upside and future. It’s possible the team won’t have to add another center this offseason if Bassey continues to perform.

Looking Ahead

With Philly playing well so far this postseason, they’ll still have to overcome some adversity on the road in Toronto. With Matisse Thybulle being only partially vaccinated he can’t play in the games at the Raptors.

The Sixers for their part have tried to prepare themselves for the games in Toronto by changing their rotation some. During the regular season, Thybulle averaged 25.5 minutes, but in the first two games of the playoffs, he’s been reduced to 14.5 minutes per game.

On top of that, the Sixers have just overwhelmed the Raptors so far. Looking ahead the Sixers will likely match up against the Miami Heat in the second round, who they went 2-2 against this season.

If they can beat the Heat, then the Sixers will likely see either the Bucks, Celtics, or Nets in the Conference Finals. Before any of that can happen, they’ll have to finish off the Raptors.



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