Charles Bassey's firey start is similar to a past Spur
It’s no secret that the San Antonio Spurs found a stud when they scooped center Charles Bassey off waiver wires from Philidelphia. In four games, the 22-year-old averaged 6.8 points, two blocks, and eight rebounds. With Zach Collins out with another foot injury, Bassey looks like a reliable center to play behind Jakob Poeltl.
Bassey is not an elite scorer, but his ability to grab rebounds and defend various positions with an insane motor and athleticism are the traits that could keep him in the league–and the Silver and Black–for a long time.
While I’m a huge fan of Bassey and thoroughly enjoy that Doc Rivers, of all people, is the guy who wrapped up and put a bow on this gift of a player, I haven’t fully drunk the Kool-Aid yet. I already had my fill last season when the Spurs called Devontae Cacok up from their Austin G-League squad.
Charles Bassey is playing very well, but so did Cacok
Last season, the Spurs had center/forward Devontae Cacok play real minutes in 15 games when they fell doomed to health and safety protocols. In his handful of games, Cacok put up 3.1 points and 2.8 rebounds and combined for a steal and a block. Those aren’t elite numbers by any means, but his first four games were better than his averages.
Per 36 minutes, Bassey and Cacok have eerily similar numbers. Cacok’s per 36 was 13.7 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 4.5 combined steals and blocks. Bassey is putting up 15.7, 18.6, and 6.3 in the same categories, although he has only played four games to Cacok’s 15.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that Bassey looks the part more than Cocok did. Bassey is much more fluid, physical, and aggressive. Still, with such a small sample size, I’m worried that Bassey is getting overhyped. I thought the Spurs should have called Cacok up permanently, but now he plays for the Grand Rapids Gold in the G-League. If Bassey can keep his production up, then he has a very real shot of getting a long-term contract with the Spurs, but four games are not enough.