Observations from the Summer Sixers’ 97-77 loss to Toronto

Thunder 76ers Basketball
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey (3) is defended by Philadelphia 76ers guard Trevelin Queen (9) during the first half of an NBA summer league basketball game Thursday, July 7, 2022, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Jeff Swinger)

In their first game of Vegas’ Summer League, the Sixers squared off with the Toronto Raptors on Saturday afternoon. Third-year shooter Isaiah Joe‘s impressive play and leadership, continued versus the Raptors as he has welcomed increasingly more responsibility. Notably, former G League MVP Paul Reed will not suit up in Vegas after showing out in Utah. However, draft-and-stash Filip Petrusev was available for the first time this summer.

Toronto’s Summer League roster features the 33rd overall pick from the 2022 NBA Draft, Christian Koloko. The young center from Arizona is joined by NBA veterans Dalano BantonArmoni BrooksD.J. Wilson, among others. Also, undrafted rookie Ron Harper Jr. out of Rutgers is on the roster. Harper Jr. recently signed a two-way contract with the Raptors. While the Summer Sixers played a few games in the Salt Lake City Summer League, Saturday’s game was Toronto’s first Summer League action this year.

Isaiah Joe Deserves a Roster Spot with the Sixers

The Sixers’ need for a pure three-point shooter has been evident since the inclusion of Seth Curry in the James HardenBen Simmons swap. Second-round Arkansas product Isaiah Joe is capable of filling that need, as he has shown by impressing during Summer League. While it will be nearly impossible to earn Doc Rivers‘ trust, there is a clear need for Joe on the team. The 23-year-old guard has also taken on more of a leadership role within the Summer League group.

In the team’s Vegas debut on Saturday, Joe poured in 24 points (8/14 FG, 7/9 3P, 1/4 FT) in about 32 minutes after showing out during Salt Lake City Summer League earlier this month. Joe was the 49th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Frontcourt Underwhelms in Paul Reed’s Absence

Charles Bassey was expected to find similar success as Paul Reed this summer. With Reed earning rest in Vegas, the interior opened up for the undrafted Bassey. The second-year center played about 22 minutes and recorded a relatively underwhelming 9 points (4/7 FG, 0/1 3P, 1/1 FT), 6 rebounds, and one block.

Similar to Bassey, Michael Foster Jr. gained an expanded opportunity with Paul Reed out. The rookie from the G League Ignite accumulated only 2 points (1/4 FG, 0/2 FT) and 5 rebounds in about 11 minutes.

Look for Foster Jr. to be more effective as he gains comfort. The undrafted big man averaged 14.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2.2 blocks in 29.9 minutes per game in his 13 G League appearances this past season.

Second-year draft-and-stash Filip Petrusev provided the Summer Sixers with frontcourt depth in his 2022 Summer League debut on Saturday. The 22-year-old Serbian played just under 8 minutes and put up 2 points (0/1 FG, 2/2 FT), 4 rebounds, one steal, and one block.

In 22 games, including four starts for Anadolu Efes this past season, Petrusev averaged 5.2 points and 1.6 rebounds in about 9 minutes per game. The stretch big was the 50th overall selection in the 2021 NBA Draft.

Champagnie Twins Face-Off

Justin Champagnie went undrafted in the 2021 NBA Draft out of Pittsburgh. The 21-year-old played on a two-way contract with the Raptors in his rookie year. His twin brother, Julian Champagnie, went undrafted in the 2022 NBA Draft out of St. John’s. He recently signed a two-way contract with the Sixers.

The two’s teams squared off Saturday. However, Justin did not see playing time. Despite not playing, Justin maintained activity on the Toronto bench, as detailed in the tweet below.

Julian played just over 16 minutes while getting playfully heckled by his twin brother. The rookie put up 5 points (2/6 FG, 1/5 3P), 3 rebounds, one assist, and one steal.

What’s Next?

The Sixers hope to rebound from Saturday’s hard-fought loss in their next game against Cam Thomas and the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, July 10th at 3:30 pm EST. The game can be watched on NBATV. For more Sixers coverage and other Philly sports content, visit PhillySportsNetwork.com!