2021 second-round draft pick Charles Bassey has yet to lock himself into the Sixers' main roster. A couple of months ago, the 76ers made Bassey the team's 53rd overall draft pick and had every intention of keeping him as they introduced the former Western Kentucky center as a member of the team after the draft.
Bassey made an appearance on the practice court in Las Vegas ahead of the five-game Summer League schedule. Unfortunately, when the first game rolled around, Bassey was instructed by his agent to sit out until his contract is signed.
Five games came and went without Bassey logging a single minute on the court for the Sixers' Summer League run. At that point, it was unclear what the hold-up between Bassey and the Sixers was. Now, it's known the Sixers and Bassey's reps are going back and forth on the terms regarding the rookie's first contract.
Prior to the 2021 NBA Draft, Bassey reportedly had a multi-year deal on the table with several years guaranteed from an anonymous team had he gone undrafted. While the Sixers are willing to sign Bassey to a multi-year deal, the lack of guaranteed years is what's preventing them from getting Bassey to sign.
Bassey is expected to sign with the Sixers for the 2021-2022 season one way or another, but he might end up inking a one-year deal.
Regardless of what he does, Bassey has shown zero signs of wanting to play elsewhere next year. Amid his "holdout" the rookie center has been working out at the Sixers' practice facility in Camden, New Jersey throughout the offseason, according to Derek Bodner of The Athletic.
"Does he not want to be in Philly? Is he concerned over the lack of playing time that would be available in a center rotation behind Joel Embiid and Andre Drummond? Neither is the case, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation. In fact, Bassey has been working out at the Sixers’ training facility in Camden for the past few weeks in preparation for the upcoming season, and has impressed the coaching staff and front office personnel who have seen him play. The dispute is purely contractual."
While it's highly unfortunate the Sixers couldn't get a sample of Bassey playing in an NBA game setting during the Summer League last month, at least they're able to assess his game on the practice court, despite the fact that his contract negotiations are still ongoing at this point.
With training camp just weeks away, it's in the Sixers' best interest to conclude contract discussions with Bassey ahead of time to ensure he'll be ready to compete in the preseason. Regardless of when the talks get done, it seems like a sure thing Bassey will be a part of Philly's roster for next year, which is a good sign for their center depth.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.