Spurs sign Charles Bassey to multi-year contract

The San Antonio Spurs have converted the two-way contract of center Charles Bassey to a standard NBA contract, the team announced on Tuesday.

According to Shams Charania, it’s a four-year deal worth $10.2 million, including guarantees of $5.2 million.

The 22-year-old Bassey, originally selected by the 76ers in the second round of the 2021 NBA Draft, has appeared in 25 games with San Antonio this season, averaging 4.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 13.6 minutes. The 6-11 center signed a two-way contract with the Spurs in October after being waived by the 76ers.

Bassey has also played in 14 total games for the Austin Spurs, averaging 23.4 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 1.86 blocks in 29.8 minutes on his way to being named to the NBA G League Next Up Game at All-Star Weekend. 

He has played well during his time in San Antonio and has shown a lot of promise for the young Spurs.

Originally from Nigeria, Bassey played three seasons at Western Kentucky.


Embiid on Nets: ‘It’s another game on the schedule’

The Philadelphia 76ers(8-8) were depleted as they hosted the Minnesota Timberwolves(8-8) on Saturday night at Wells Fargo Center. Philadelphia was missing its starting backcourt of James Harden and Tyrese Maxey, who were both out due to foot injuries. In addition, they were without Tobias Harris, who missed his second straight game with a hip injury.

“I just felt bad,” Joel Embiid, who had 32 points, nine rebounds, and six assists, said after the loss. “We have three of our best players; Tyrese is one that puts in so much work every single day. Injuries are just something that we can’t control it. It’s just unfortunate. I’ve had my share of them, especially freak injuries. You just can’t control them, so I just felt bad for him because he [TYRESE MAXEY] puts in so much work and takes care of himself. Obviously, missing James to the same thing and Tobias being hurt too. It does suck, but next man up.”

After having a small lead in the first quarter, Philadelphia was chasing Minnesota the rest of the way. The Timberwolves led by as many as 20 points, but the 76ers were able to cut to lead to two in the fourth, and had an opportunity to tie late, but Georges Niang missed a three with 01.2 seconds left, and they fell to Minnesota 112-109.

With the loss, Philly’s three-game winning streak was snapped.

The Timberwolves scored 97 points after three quarters, but Philadelphia went to a zone defense, which was effective and almost brought them all the way back.

“We just hung in there. We kept throwing out the score,” 76ers head coach Doc Rivers said postgame. “We’re down eight, down seven, down six. That’s how you come back in games. I loved our fight. We had opportunities down the stretch. In the second half, I thought the zone really changed the game for us defensively.”

Embiid added on the defensive effort: “We didn’t play defense for three quarters. In the fourth, we went to zone; they didn’t know what to do and what to run against it. We just didn’t play defense for three quarters, and we put ourselves in a big hole. We were down 15, 20 most of the game. Unfortunately, it was too much to overcome.”

Now, they get a few days off before Ben Simmons, and the Brooklyn Nets come to Philadelphia on Tuesday night. After the loss to Minnesota, Embiid discussed the return of the number one overall pick by the 76ers in the 2016 NBA Draft.

“It’s another game on the schedule,” Embiid said. “I don’t know those guys; I have nothing against those guys. It’s Brooklyn against Philly. Hopefully, I feel better for that game. It’s the same goal—try go out and win. Obviously, we’re down a lot of guys right now, so we have to find ways. Tonight I wasn’t as dominant as I should have been. So, if I do feel better, I plan on trying to do whatever is possible to get that win. There’s a lot of history, but there’s really no history. It’s just a regular game. I know everybody is going to make a lot of drama about everything that’s happened. The people that were here and the people that were, but they’re not even playing. It’s going to be fine.”


-Shake Milton, who started in place of Maxey, scored 27 points while hauling in six rebounds.

-In 32 minutes, Niang posted his fourth game of at least 15 points off the bench this season.

-Both the 76ers and Timberwolves had five players in double figures. Anthony Edwards led Minnesota with 25 points, five rebounds, and five assists.

Report: Montrezl Harrell signs with 76ers

All-Star center Joel Embiid wanted toughness in Philadelphia, and Daryl Morey has done just that. He added P.J. Tucker in free agency, traded for De’Anthony Melton, and according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, they grabbed more toughness as they signed free agent center Montrezl Harrell to a two-year deal worth $5.2 million, including a player option.

Harrell, 28, spent last season with the Wizards and Hornets, where he averaged 13.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per contest off the bench. Harrell will be reunited with Doc Rivers; the two were together with the Clippers, and Harrell had a lot of success, including winning the 2019-20 Sixth Man of the Year award.

According to Wojnarowski, 76ers star James Harden, who signed a team-friendly team, recruited Harrell to Philly, and fortunately for Harden, he got his man.

Harrell got into legal trouble in the offseason as he was charged with marijuana trafficking in May after a traffic stop in Kentucky; the charges were later reduced to misdemeanor possession, and he avoided jail time.

The 76ers needed a reliable backup for Embiid, and the seven-year veteran fits the bill. Philadelphia is looking to win now, and they are clearly all in on trying to do it in the 2022-23 NBA season. 

Joel Embiid gets his tough guy

At the end of last season, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid wanted the 76ers to find a tough guy, and he mentioned P.J. Tucker.

Here’s what Embiid had to say after losing to Heat in the second round of the playoffs:

“When you have size and toughness, you look at someone like P.J. Tucker,” Embiid said. “A great player, but it’s not about him knocking down shots. It’s about what he does, whether it’s on the defensive end or rebounding the ball.”

Well, wish long and hard, and your dreams might come true.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the 37-year-old Tucker is finalizing a three-year, $33.2 million fully guaranteed deal with the Philadelphia 76ers.

The 11-year veteran, who won a title in Milwaukee in 2021 before joining the Heat last season, averaged 7.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 41% from deep in the 2021-22 season. 

“This team is good enough to compete head-to-head with anybody in the league, and I’m going to come in here and do whatever I can to help get us to that next level,” Tucker said via a release from the team announcing the move.. “Philly fans demand greatness and it will be up to us to get to where we need to be in order to accomplish our goals. I’m excited to get to work.”

Tucker can guard multiple positions and is the tough guy Philly needs to compete in the ever-tough Eastern Conference. 

In addition to Tucker, Philly added free agent guard/forward Danuel House, who, according to The Athletic’s Sham Charania, agreed to a deal with the team. Last season, the 29-year-old House spent time with the Rockets, Knicks, and Jazz. In 42 games, House averaged 5.9 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per contest.

Also, the 76ers added guard Trevelin Queen, the reigning G League MVP, who finished fifth in scoring at 25.3 points per game while leading the G League in steals with an average of 3.2. Queen helped Rio Grande Valley capture the 2022 NBA G League title.

In 19 games (all starts) with the Vipers, the 25-year-old Queen also averaged 6.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists in 35.0 minutes per contest.


Kings’ Haliburton showed out against 76ers

Over the past few weeks, Sacramento Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton has been linked to the Philadelphia 76ers in trade talks surrounding Ben Simmons. However, according to reports, the Kings ended discussions with the 76ers.

If Philly fans and maybe even Daryl Morey had any doubts about Haliburton, that might have been put to rest Saturday night at Wells Fargo Center. 

Haliburton scored a career-high 38 points (11-19 FG, 5-9 3FG, 11-12 FT) to go along with game-high-tying seven assists. Haliburton scored the final 14 points for the Kings, but they would fall short when Harrison Barnes missed a three at the buzzer as the 76ers defeated Sacramento 103-101.

76ers F Danny Green was impressed by what he saw from the 21-year-old Haliburton.

“Woo! I think that describes enough of it right there,” Green, who scored 11 points off the bench, said postgame. “That side-step, step back fadeaway over the backboard in the corner, I thought that was, for sure, gonna come off hard. It didn’t touch anything but the net, and that kind of shows the night he [Tyrese Haliburton] had. He was getting the free-throw line a lot, though. He was very active; he was getting to the paint. He made some adjustments. But the fact that he was getting downhill and getting to his floater opened up the game a lot for him and them. So, we tried to get him off the free-throw line, but when he started hitting the three-ball, he had a good rhythm. He kept them in the game.”

Kings head coach Alvin Gentry added on Haliburton:  “Well, you know, I think he’s progressing every day from the standpoint of getting better, learning more… just doing the things that he needs to do to show improvement and stuff. I was happy with his game, very happy.”

Haliburton has struggled in the past two games, where he combined for 18 points, and while he was happy to break out, he does not want to get too high or too low.

“I’m just learning every night, through the good and bad. Obviously, last two games, I’ve been awful,” Haliburton said. “Tonight, I was pretty good, but you know, just not getting too high, not getting too low, it’s the NBA, it’s 82 games, it’s a grind, and you’re really going to mess yourself up mentally if every time you’re playing well you get too high and every time you are playing bad you get too low so for me, I’m just trying to stay even keel, stay mellow and just come to work every day and be ready to compete and I think tonight obviously I played pretty well, but I think that the guys around me put me in a position to succeed so just keep going from there.”

Haliburton has a ton of talent; he might be a guy the Kings make untouchable in any trade talks and use as a building block going forward. However, he sure made an impression on the Philly fans Saturday night. 



76ers’ Morey: ‘We’re excited for Furkan’s(Korkmaz) future here’

The Philadelphia 76ers have officially re-signed Furkan Korkmaz, the team announced on Monday. 

According to reports, it’s a three-year, $15 million deal. 

Last season, Korkmaz, 24, averaged 9.1 points, 2.1 rebounds, and a career-best 1.5 assists per game.

“We’re thrilled that Furkan is returning to the 76ers. His work ethic and commitment have helped him evolve into a high-level rotation player in the NBA,” Philadelphia 76ers President of Basketball Operations said via a press release. “He’s proven to be a dangerous three-point threat, and he continues to make great strides as a defender thanks to his length and size. We’re excited for Furkan’s future here.” 

Philadelphia selected Korkmaz with the No. 26 overall selection in the 2016 NBA Draft. This year, the four-year veteran shouldered the scoring load for Turkey in the Olympic qualifying games, averaging a team-best 16.0 points, including back-to-back 20-point games. 

The 76ers get good shooting at a relatively low price for Korkmaz, especially when you consider that Duncan Robinson got a five-year, $90 million deal from the Heat, and Doug McDermott got a three-year, $42 million contract from the Spurs.

Korkmaz has improved and will have the opportunity to continue to improve in Philadelphia. 


Rivers on Milton: ‘He gave us a huge lift’

The Philadelphia 76ers got another big performance from Joel Embiid on Wednesday night. After scoring a then playoff career-high 39 points in Game 1, Embiid came back and set a new playoff career-high with 40 points and 13 rebounds in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference second-round matchup against the Atlanta Hawks. 

However, the 76ers needed an unlikely hero to defeat Atlanta on Wednesday night.

With Philadelphia trailing 80-79 late in the third quarter, 76ers head coach Doc Rivers inserted Shake Milton, who has struggled during the playoffs. Milton proceeded to score six points in the third, including a 35-foot buzzer-beater to end the quarter, and scored eight more points in the fourth to finish with 14 points as the 76ers defeated Atlanta 118-102 at Wells Fargo Center to even the series at 1.

In 15 minutes of action, Milton was 5/8 from the field, including four threes.

Milton appeared to be out of the rotation, and before his explosion on Wednesday night, the third-year guard averaged 2.8 points per game while shooting 21% from the field in the playoffs. Despite his struggles, Rivers was impressed by Milton’s preparation. 

“He prepared himself, and he believed that he would get another shot, and he got it,” Rivers said about Milton. “He gave us a huge lift. Very happy for him, personally.”

Tobias Harris, who scored 22 points in Game 2, was also happy for Milton.

“I’m extremely happy for him,” he said. “Happy and proud at the same time… For him, he’s been in and out of the rotation a bit in the playoffs, struggling a bit at times. But, he’s steadily in the gym, waiting for that moment, that opportunity. Here it came, and he took advantage of it”

In the first half, the Hawks’ bench outscored Philly’s bench 32-0, but the second half was a much different story for the 76ers, who had 26 bench points in the second half, which was a big reason Philadelphia was able to push the lead to as many as 21 points in the fourth.

Game 3 is Friday night in Atlanta.

In Game 1, Trae Young, guarded mainly by Danny Green, was tough to stop for Philadelphia as he scored 35 points and dished out 10 assists. However, in Game 2, the 76ers used the 6-11, Ben Simmons, to guard the 6-1 Young, and it worked. Young was just 6/16 from the field with 21 points and 11 assists. 

As they enter Game 3, it should be interesting to see what the Hawks will do to get Young going. It also should be interesting to see how both teams will respond as the scene shifts to State Farm Arena for Games 3 and 4.


-Kevin Huerter and Danilo Gallinari gave the Hawks a big boost in the first half on Wednesday night. Both Gallinari and Huerter scored 15 points apiece in the first half. Gallinari finished the game with 21 points, and Huerter added 20.

-Seth Curry scored 21 points for the 76ers in Game 2, including 5/8 from three-point range. 

76ers move to the next round; Wizards have questions about future

The Philadelphia 76ers are moving on to the Eastern Conference semifinals after defeating the Wizards 129-112 in Game 5 of their first-round series on Wednesday night at Wells Fargo Center.

Philadelphia wins the series 4-1.

The 76ers will begin their second-round series with the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday in Philadelphia.

Without Joel Embiid, who is day-to-day with a small tear in his right meniscus, Philadelphia had six players in double figures. Seth Curry led the way with a playoff career-high 30 points, Ben Simmons had a triple-double with 19 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds, and rookie Tyrese Maxey added 13 points off the bench.

“It was what you would call an all-hands in, team win, for sure,” 76ers head coach Doc Rivers said after the game.

Philadelphia will continue to need all hands in if Embiid can’t play against the Hawks. He’s their best player, and makes this team go.

The 76ers have a team that can make the Finals, but that won’t be possible without a healthy Embiid.

Regarding the Wizards, heading into their April 7 game against the Magic, Washington was 17-32 and 13th in the Eastern Conference. Washington rallied with the second-best winning percentage in the league from April 7 to finish 17-6 in the final 23 games of the season.

This team overcame COVID, injuries, and everything else to make the playoffs, but there could be some changes in the offseason. Head coach Scott Brooks five-year contract has expired, and his future with the team is uncertain.

Russell Westbrook, who started his career with Brooks in OKC, would like him to return, while Bradley Beal said, “That’s out of my hands.”

Beal, 27, can become a free agent after next season(player option), so they have to convince him to stay, but as he said after the loss to Philadelphia, he is in control.

Ultimately, I’m in control,” Beal said. “I think that’s my biggest thing. People are going to report whatever they want, but I know where my mind is, and I know if it’s not coming from the horse’s mouth, then it’s going to be rumors. I expect them. S—, they’re starting now.”

Washington is stuck at this point. They are too good to get a high lottery pick but not good enough to contend. It’s almost like they have to determine what direction they want to go in. If Beal is committed to staying, they need to try to get players to win now. However, if Beal wants out, they need to move him, Westbrook(if possible), and try to rebuild. 

What happens next for the Wizards should be very interesting, and whatever Beal wants could determine Washington’s future.

Embiid to miss Game 5 against Wizards with meniscus tear

Philadelphia 76ers C Joel Embiid has been ruled out of Game 5 against the Washington Wizards in their first-round series after the team announced on Wednesday that Embiid has a small lateral meniscus tear in his right knee.

The four-time All-Star had an MRI on Tuesday, which revealed the injury. The team listed Embiid as day-to-day, and the injury will be managed through therapy and a treatment program.

Embiid left Game 4 after the first quarter when he lost his balance and fell to the ground after getting his shot blocked by Robin Lopez.

Philadelphia fell to the Wizards 122-114 in Game 4 and have a 3-1 series lead. The 76ers are hoping to close out Washington in Philadelphia on Wednesday night.

In the regular season, Embiid missed 21 games for the 76ers, and in those games, Philadelphia was 10-11.

Wizards’ Beal on Game 4 win over 76ers: ‘We played with more spunk, a little bit more attitude, and then some excitement’

The Washington Wizards kept their season alive on Monday night when they defeated the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 4 of their first-round series 122-114 at Capital One Arena.

Game 5 will be Wednesday night in Philadelphia as the 76ers lead the series 3-1.

The Wizards caught a little break on Monday night when 76ers star center Joel Embiid left the game after the first quarter due to knee soreness, which happened when Embiid lost his balance after getting his shot blocked by Robin Lopez. Embiid stayed in the game and completed the first quarter before leaving and heading back to the locker room. Embiid is scheduled to get an MRI on Tuesday.

No Embiid opened many things up for the Wizards, especially in the third quarter, where Washington outscored Philadelphia 32-19. Washington led by as many as 14 near the end of the frame and took a 92-80 lead into the fourth quarter. 

In the fourth quarter, Philadelphia would get back into the game, and took a lead with under three minutes to go.  Washington would use the hack-a-Ben Simmons strategy down the stretch, which Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said was a possibility in pregame. The strategy worked. Simmons was 4-8 from the free-throw line in the fourth, and with Washington leading 115-112, Rui Hachimura hit a dagger three to put the game away with 45.2 seconds left. 

“We played with more spunk, a little bit more attitude, and then some excitement,” Bradley Beal said after the game. “It just felt like we enjoyed being out there on the floor, we enjoyed playing defense, we enjoyed getting out and running in transition. These are [the things] that make us really good; this is what gave us success at the end of the year.”

Washington got its usual production from Beal, who led all scorers with 27 points, and of course, Westbrook had a triple-double with 19 points, 21 rebounds, and 14 assists, which was his second straight triple-double.

However, the role players stepped up for the Wizards, including Hachimura, who recorded his first career playoff double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds, Lopez had 16 points off the bench, and Davis Bertans added 15.

The Wizards had seven players in double figures. 

At this point, this series could come down to the health of Embiid. Philadelphia is clearly a different team without the MVP finalist. However, Philly still has the advantage and still has enough talent without Embiid to get by the Wizards, but anything is possible.


-Westbrook’s 21 rebounds marked a career postseason high and were the most by a Washington player since Elvin Hayes had 22 on 5/13/79 against San Antonio. Westbrook became just the fourth player since 2000 to record a triple-double with at least 20 rebounds in the playoffs (Tim Duncan-twice, Kevin Garnett, Nikola Jokic).

-Daniel Gafford, who started on Monday night for the first time in this series, finished with 12 points, four rebounds, and five blocks, becoming the fifth player in franchise history to have 5+ blocks in a game and the first to do so since Marcin Gortat on 4/19/17 vs. Atlanta.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Bertans, who left the game in the third quarter and did not return due to a calf injury, had an MRI on Tuesday, which revealed a grade 2 calf strain. He will need 4-6 weeks for recovery, according to Wojnarowski.

-Tobias Harris led Philadelphia with 24 points(8/24 from field). Philadelphia had six players in double figures on Monday night.