There was not much wait for the Sixers‘ return to the summer league following their loss to the Grizzlies in the opening matchup. Just one day later, the team returned to the court for a matchup with the Utah Jazz. The Sixers’ summer league roster was even more shorthanded than normal as it was announced that Isaiah Joe, Paul Reed, and Jaden Springer would each be held out of the matchup due to reconditioning. This paved the way for some of the more unproven players to get a true chance to see what they can do.
It was a sloppy overall game that included 35 total turnovers across the two teams. There were eight lead changes and the game was tied up seven times, but the Sixers were ultimately able to come out on top. This proved to be the team’s first victory of the summer league and they won it by a score of 86-82. Despite the three main attractions of the summer league roster sitting on the sideline, there was still plenty to take away from the matchup.
Charles Bassey Looked Much More Comfortable
The performance in the opening matchup was somewhat disappointing from Charles Bassey. He struggled to assert himself and seemed a step behind the flow of play. Several balls slipped through his hands and he just never was able to find a rhythm. While he was not perfect in game two, he made a much more positive impact on the game.
Bassey led the Sixers in scoring with 17 points and also added 9 rebounds and 4 steals. He was effective as a roller and a lob threat which is likely the best offensive weapon in his game. The 21-year-old also showed some nice flashes in the post and attacked whenever he had a smaller defender on him.
It was an improved performance but there is still room to grow for Charles Bassey. He needs to assert himself more on the defensive end as opposing teams have no fear when attacking him. Despite his large frame, the Jazz were able to finish at the basket around him relatively easily. Bassey also was called for multiple offensive fouls due to moving screens and pushing off on offensive rebounds.
The Sixers did a better job getting Bassey involved in the screen and roll game in this matchup. He is a player who needs shots to be created for him via a lob or an entry pass. Overall it was a positive performance for the big man but he is not ready to handle regular rotational minutes at this time.
Trevelin Queen Deserves a Roster Spot
The reigning G-League MVP made his debut with the Sixers summer league team after sitting out the first game. Trevelin Queen made his impact felt early by knocking down a three-pointer for the Sixers’ first points of the game. Queen ended with 15 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals in the matchup. He did a nice job creating for himself and looking for Charles Bassey on cuts and with lobs.
While he still has more to his game that he did not flash, it is clear Trevelin Queen possesses a skillset the Sixers are in need of. He shot just 5 of 12 from the field but looked to create his shot in a refreshing fashion. The 25-year-old made sharp decisions with the ball and played with a zest and swagger. He ultimately iced the game by converting on an acrobatic lay-in off of a lob.
The Sixers recently signed the New Mexico State product to a non-guaranteed deal. The team only has 15 roster spots and 16 players to fill them. While Daryl Morey could still certainly be looking to make a trade to clean this up, he should be sure that Trevelin Queen has a spot in the top 15 regardless. It will be exciting to see what else he can showcase in the summer league moving forward.
Battle for the Sixers’ Two-Way Contracts
As the Sixers roster currently stands, Charlie Brown Jr. and Julian Champagnie are expected to fill the franchise’s two-way slots. Charlie Brown Jr burst onto the scene last year with the Sixers due to his effort and activity. The Saint Joe’s product is an impressive athlete and is not afraid to get in the mix for the team. CBJ ended the second summer league matchup with 12 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals.
He also had to go to the locker room and missed the final quarter after colliding with a Jazz player which resulted in some sort of injury to his face. It was a solid performance from Brown Jr and he showed a notable defensive intensity which included him picking up opposing players full court throughout the matchup.
In contrast, Julian Champagnie has left a lot to be desired through his first two games of the summer league. In the most recent matchup, he ended with five points, ten rebounds, one assist, and one steal. The Saint Johns product shot just 2 of 11 from the field and was 0 for 6 on three-point attempts. Champagnie carried the reputation as a shooter coming into the summer league, but has been unable to prove this to be the case. He has an NBA frame and has had some nice flashes, but the 22-year-old must show some more consistency through the remainder of the summer league.
After impressing the opening matchup, Grant Riller took a step back in Game 2. The Charleston product tallied just 2 points in his 13 minutes of play. Riller also added four assists, a steal, a block, and three turnovers while shooting 0 for 3 from the field. He was unable to use the burst he had showcased and was a non-factor in the matchup. Riller made a strong impression in the opening game and will need to get back to this level of play moving forward.
Another player who has experience in the Sixers’ two-way slots is Myles Powell. The Seton Hall product had a solid performance in the win. Powell knocked down three three-pointers and ended with 13 points, 4 steals, 3 assists, and 2 rebounds. He looked fearless in the matchup and caught fire for a stretch. While he still lacks as a playmaker and is undersized by NBA standards, Myles Powell is a blast to watch when he gets hot. This is as much of a tryout for the other 29 teams as it is for the Sixers but a few more performances like this could have Philly thinking twice about how they want the bottom of their roster to look.
The Sixers are now 1-1 in the Salt Lake City Summer League. They will have no time to rest as the team will be back in action against Chet Holmgren and the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight. It is expected for Paul Reed, Isaiah Joe, and Jaden Springer to return to the lineup so the roster will be at full strength. Holmgren is sure to be an interesting challenge for Reed and Bassey so it will be a fun game to watch. Look for each Sixers player to build off the performance in Game 2 and attempt to make their best impressions in the final matchup in Salt Lake City.