The Summer League is over and several things become clear for the Sixers. One positive is that Paul Reed looks like he’s ready to be the backup to Joel Embiid. However, there was a negative regarding the center depth chart that was revived as well.
It’s become clear that Charles Bassey isn’t ready for regular NBA minutes whenever he is called upon. Bassey needs another year to develop in the G-League which is fine. There are still at least three reserve centers available in free agency that could help the Philadelphia 76ers depth.
3 center free agents who could boost depth: Hassan Whiteside
Let’s start with Hassan Whiteside who was the backup center to Rudy Gobert on the Utah Jazz last season. At 7-foot tall, Whiteside is the tallest player on this list and during his prime was one of the better defenders in the NBA.
Whiteside was one of the big men that Embiid used to troll and trash talk earlier in his career, per Tyler Conway of Bleacher Report. However, based on the dynamic that Embiid and Andre Drummond had last season, that shouldn’t be a problem between these two big men. It also helps that Whiteside has transitioned to being a backup at this point in his career.
This isn’t the first time I’ve written about Whiteside being a potential target for the Sixers. He was also 38th on my unrestricted free agent big board. He would give 76ers head coach Doc Rivers some versatility with his lineups. If he’s facing a team who can attack the interior, then Whiteside would make more sense as a substitute, however, for a team more perimeter oriented, then Reed would get the minutes behind Embiid.
Last season with the Jazz, Whiteside averaged 8.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks. It’s clear that the 33-year-old center still has plenty left in the tank. He should be on the short list of big men if Philly’s front office elects to add another center.