The Philadelphia 76ers possessed just two draft picks heading into the 2021 NBA Draft. On the morning of the main event, the Sixers bought another second-rounder by sending $2 million to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for the 53rd selection.
In the first round, the Sixers snagged Tennessee guard Jaden Springer. In the second round, they double-dipped on bigs by bringing in Serbian pro Filip Petrusev and Western Kentucky's Charles Bassey.
Petrusev will more than likely continue to play pro ball overseas as a stash pick, according to Sixers' President of Basketball Operations, Daryl Morey. On the other hand, Bassey will probably share time between the 76ers and their NBA G League affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats.
Spending any amount of time in Philly with the main roster will be extremely beneficial for Bassey as he'll have the opportunity to learn behind one of the best bigs in the game. As Joel Embiid is coming off an MVP-caliber season, the veteran center will have the opportunity to spread some of his skills and knowledge to a guy like Bassey while giving him a chance to sharpen his game in practice.
“I’m looking forward to that for sure,” Bassey said during his introductory press conference following the draft. “I can’t wait, of course, we’re gonna be coached by the same coach, and for sure, I can’t wait. Just learning from him, just him giving me ideas and stuff going into games and practices and stuff.”
Bassey and Embiid aren't strangers to each other. Bassey recalled a couple of times when he worked out with Embiid years back since they share the same personal trainer. While it seems they didn't necessarily grow close, they'll have no choice but to get to know each other better over time as they now share the same uniform too.
“It’s gonna be great learning from a guy that’s been in the league for like a good eight or nine years,” Bassey continued. “I can’t wait to just get started with him. It’s gonna be a blessing for sure.”
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.