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The unexpected contribution of Charles Bassey

Charles Bassey has proved to be an incredibly useful addition to the young Spurs team, stepping up mightily in the absence of Zach Collins.

By: Lucas Oliva I Nov. 15, 2022, 2:00 pm EST

Bassey rejects George Hill at the rim. (Photo by Reginal Thomas III/San Antonio Spurs)

On October 13th, the Philadelphia 76ers cut second-year big man Charles Bassey in an effort to reduce their roster to the maximum 15 players. A little over a week later, the Spurs would cut undrafted rookie Jordan Hall to pick up Charles Bassey on a two-way deal. Bassey played high-school basketball in San Antonio and showed some flashes throughout his first year with the 76ers.

Upon being asked about the move to San Antonio, Bassey said “They watched me in high school and college. I feel this is the right move and this is the right stuff for me and my family. I’m glad about it.” Sure enough the Spurs have been glad about adding him to the team as well, as he’s seen minutes thrown at him with Zach Collins being sidelined for the time being.

Charles Bassey with the Spurs:

6.6 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 2.0 APG, 2.0 BPG, 1.4 TO, 61.9 FG% - (5 games played)

Not only has Charles Bassey been a standout at crashing the glass and defending opposing offenses, but he’s also shown increased potential on the offensive side of the ball with lobs, putbacks and layups. The 2021 second-round pick has even displayed good mechanics in his jumpshot, shooting 40% from three, albeit on a very very low volume.

A comparison worth noting is that the scenario in which Charles Bassey has been given ample playing time is very reminiscent of Devontae Cacok last season with the Spurs. However, Bassey has looked the part significantly more than Cacok, and more importantly, the Spurs only have two bigs in their rotation in Collins and Poeltl. In comparison to last year, the Spurs had a third big man in Jock Landale who was run in tandem with Zach Collins to provide a big lineup that was also capable of stretching the floor. The potential of this lineup but with Bassey instead of Landale is much greater as Bassey provides a higher motor on defense with quicker movements and lateral adjustment. While Landale is undoubtedly the better floor spacer, Collins has had a great start to the year shooting the ball, allowing the double big lineup to be something that the Spurs can very well experiment with once Collins fully rehabs his injury.

One thing is for sure though, Charles Bassey has shown that he is too good for the g-league, and double big lineup or not, the Spurs should be looking to give him consistent minutes. With increased reps and time to mesh with the team, Bassey can truly become a high-quality role player that can easily come in as a spot-starter if need be. An asset of this kind is something any team would want, as effective backup bigs are a large piece of some of the best bench units across the league.

Bassey looks to continue his strong play tonight against the Portland Trail Blazers. Nurkic is questionable, meaning that both he and Poeltl could be in for big nights!


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