The Sixers intend to waive recent draft picks Isaiah Joe and Charles Bassey, a source told NBC Sports Philadelphia on Thursday morning, confirming reports by The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey and PhillyVoice’s Kyle Neubeck.
It was clear from the beginning of the preseason that both players were low in the Sixers’ pecking order after the team boosted its depth during the offseason. They were the only two Sixers not to play in the preseason finale win over the Hornets on Wednesday night.
Bassey, the 53rd pick in the 2021 draft out of Western Kentucky, was behind Joel Embiid, Montrezl Harrell, Paul Reed and P.J. Tucker on the depth chart.
Sixers head coach Doc Rivers said Sunday that Bassey had “his best practice in a long, long time” (Harrell sat out with a minor rib injury), though he noted the Sixers were looking for more consistency. Bassey appeared in just 23 NBA games as a rookie, but he shined in a November game against the Nuggets and displayed talent as a rim protector, shot blocker and offensive rebounder. He was named to the All-NBA G League Second Team and All-Defensive Team.
The Sixers picked Joe 49th in 2020. The Arkansas product led the team in scoring last preseason and did the same this year at summer league.
Joe’s outside shooting skill has yet to have much of an impact in the NBA, though. He played in 55 games last regular season and shot 33.3 percent from beyond the arc.
Asked on Saturday what had stood out about Joe, Rivers said, “Keep developing. Great shot. Getting a better understanding. It’s been a little unfair to him in some ways in camp, because he’s been on that third or fourth unit at times and he’s needed to be the point guard — and that’s not what he is. But when we move him in with the first group or the second group, he tends to perform better because he’s coming off picks and making shots. And that’s what he does.”
Neubeck reported that there is “some interest … in bringing Joe back on a two-way deal if that ends up being possible.”
After officially waiving Joe and Bassey, the Sixers will be at 14 players on standard NBA contracts, which is one fewer than the maximum allowed to begin the regular season. Michael Foster Jr. is on an Exhibit 10 contract. Charlie Brown Jr. and Julian Champagnie are the team’s two-way players at present.