Well, there has been one all-encompassing, looming issue hovering over the Philadelphia 76ers like a black cloud this entire offseason: when will 53rd overall draft pick Charles Bassey sign with the club? As reported by The Athletic’s Derek Bodner less than two weeks ago, the two sides were at a purely contractual impasse in the negotiations. From Bodner’s article:
“Bassey’s camp was looking for a multi-year contract with a two-year guarantee. The demands were aggressive, but not completely unprecedented. The Sixers gave Isaiah Joe, the 49th pick in the 2020 draft, a three-year, $4.2 million contract, of which the first two years and $2.42 million were guaranteed. The Clippers gave Brandon Boston Jr, the 51st pick in this year’s draft, a similar deal of three years and $4.3 million, with the first two seasons and $2.49 million guaranteed.
Bassey’s request was also strengthened by the fact that he had a contract offer with a multi-year guarantee, similar to the one Boston Jr. signed, on the table from a team if he were to go undrafted, multiple sources told The Athletic.
The Sixers, by contrast, have only been willing to guarantee the first year of a proposed three-year deal, per multiple sources with knowledge of the negotiations, something which they feel is commensurate with his draft slot.”
After just under two months of back-and-forth, the two sides have reached a compromise, as first reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania:
Philadelphia 76ers No. 53 pick Charles Bassey has agreed to a three-year rookie deal, his agents Adie von Gontard and Daveed Cohen told @TheAthletic @Stadium. Bassey’s deal includes full guarantee in Year 1 and partial guarantee in Year 2.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 24, 2021
We were able to bear witness to the actual signing shortly thereafter:
Bassey’s camp wanted the second year guaranteed, while the Sixers only wanted to guarantee the first year. Compromise: partial guarantee in the second year. We’ll await word on the full terms of the partial guarantee to see how much seven weeks of negotiation were worth.
While it wasn’t ideal that Bassey missed Las Vegas Summer League as a result of this standoff, it’s good to have him be able to participate in training camp from day one. The Sixers have Joel Embiid and Andre Drummond atop the depth chart at the center position, but there’s a potential path to playing time for the 6-foot-11 Bassey as a third big, especially if Doc Rivers isn’t fully prepared to unleash Paul Reed as a small-ball five (something many Sixers fans have been clamoring for after BBall Paul’s excellent summer league performance).
The Sixers specifically bought an additional pick into the late second round because they liked the crop of frontcourt prospects (the team also selected Filip Petrusev at 50th overall, who will be playing overseas this season). We’ll see what Bassey can bring to the table and whether he can play a role this season in the weeks and months to come, beginning with next week’s training camp.