The Sixers are struggling to get themselves under the magic number of 15 players on the roster, which has led many to hypothesize that that backup center, Charles Bassey, might be someone who won’t be with the team on opening night.
Charles Bassey is on the outside looking in
With Montrezl Harrell seemingly the primary backup to Embiid and (hopefully) more flashes of “energy big” Paul Reed, it’s an unfortunate likelihood that – at least barring a Jae Crowder trade – Bassey heads elsewhere.
For most of his tenure in Philly, Bassey has largely been viewed as a lesser-developed version of Reed. And sure, BBall Paul has a lot to offer at the tail end of the rotation where he can just wear down even the most skilled ball-handlers.
What Bassey brings to the table
Bassey has some notable advantages that shouldn’t be overlooked. For one, he’s noticeably more disciplined on the court – keeping pace with smaller, bouncier guards without looking a bit like a Deer in headlights. He’s also got some solid defensive capability – as seen by some of his dominant performances against the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokic. Despite his lack of playing time as a rookie, Charles Bassey has made the most of every minute on the court.
Turning back the clocks
Many fans don’t know this, but Bassey and breakout star Tyrese Maxey have something of a history. As high school players, Bassey and Maxey were ranked #1 and #2 in the state, respectively. While Maxey entered the draft after his first year of eligibility, Bassey opted to stay one more year at Western Kentucky after a dominant first season- which, unfortunately, resulted in a season-ending tibial plateau fracture. Though he came back for a solid junior year, his injury caused him to slide to the back end of the draft, and subsequently, of the Sixers rotation.
But Charles Bassey is no stranger to overcoming adversity. The Nigerian-born rookie spent his early years selling fried chicken on a roadside to help his family make ends meet. It was during one of those days that a local coach noticed Bassey’s 6’10” stature and invited him to join a local organization. Despite some initial hesitation, Bassey went forth – and the rest is history.
Can he make the Sixers roster?
Though Charles Bassey’s tenure with the Sixers may be at a crossroads as the team looks to get down to their 15 allotted roster spots. But whether or not his future is with us or elsewhere, there can be little doubt of the 21-year old’s potential to have a real impact in this league.
Photo by Steve Roberts/Icon Sportswire