Philadelphia 76ers fans got a look at the future this August during the return of the NBA Summer League. Second-year pros like Tyrese Maxey and Isaiah Joe shined during the tune-up contests, and “BBall Paul” made history.
One player who didn’t suit up for any of the summertime action though was second-round pick Charles Bassey.
The 20-year-old big man was selected 53rd overall by Philadelphia during the 2021 NBA draft, but remain unsigned throughout August, leaving him on the bench while Maxey, Joe, Paul and company worked on their game. As reported earlier this month, the Sixers “wanted to figure out their two-way slots before going to the negotiating table with Bassey.”
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Michigan State product Aaron Henry and Grant Riller have both been signed to two-way contracts to fill those voids. Additionally, Anthony Tolliver was released at the end of last week, signaling that a deal with Bassey was coming.
Bassey, Sixers to Sign Non-Guaranteed Tender Soon
Shams Charania of The Athletic reported Monday that Bassey and the team were close to an agreement on a contract.
“[Bassey] plans to sign the one-year, non-guaranteed tender, sources said,” the senior insider wrote.
NBC Sports writer Dan Feldman dove into the details further.
“Like every team with its second-round pick, Philadelphia wants to lock Bassey into the longest-possible contract with the least-possible guaranteed money. Usually, there’s a tradeoff in those negotiations. The team increases guaranteed salary in exchange for the player accepting more years on the deal,” he wrote. “The player also has a fallback: the required tender. To retain rights on a second-round pick, a team must extend a one-year contract surely unguaranteed at the minimum. The player can always accept that required tender rather than any other contract the team offers. Bassey will apparently take that rare step.”
Feldman also explained that there is precedent with the Sixers and the non-guaranteed tender.
“In 2014, K.J. McDaniels accepted his tender with Philadelphia then got a three-year, $10 million contract from the Rockets the next summer,” Feldman said. “The next year, J.P. Tokoto signed his required tender with the 76ers, got waived, signed with the Knicks for just $100,000 guaranteed then got waived again before the season. He has never played in the NBA.”
Where Does Bassey Fit in on the Sixers Roster?
As it’s currently constructed, the 76ers roster heading into the 2021-2022 campaign has three centers – Bassey, Joel Embiid and Andre Drummond. Embiid and Drummond will dominate minutes, and ahead of Bassey, fighting for minutes down low will possibly be newcomer Georges Niang.
With a 6-foot-11, 235-pound frame, Bassey is significantly larger than the 6-foot-7 Niang, so the rookie should still be able to snag some playing time this season.