Sixers convert Michael Foster Jr. to two-way contract

Michael Foster Jr., Sixers (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Michael Foster Jr., Sixers (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The Sixers are still tinkering with the roster ahead of opening night on Tuesday. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Philadelphia has converted Michael Foster Jr. to a two-way contract. He will replace Charlie Brown Jr., who was subsequently waived.

Foster went undrafted after spending last season with the G-League Ignite. He notably played more minutes than Charles Bassey in the preseason, which led many to speculate (correctly) that Bassey was on his way out the door. Foster will now join fellow undrafted rookie Julian Champagnie as Philadelphia two-way contracts for the 2022-23 season.

The 19-year-old Foster is the youngest player on the Sixers’ roster. He’s listed at 6-foot-8 and 250 pounds. He averaged 14.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks with the Ignite last season.

What does Michael Foster Jr. bring to the Sixers?

It’s not surprising to see Philadelphia move on from Charlie Brown Jr., who spent last season with the team and never really distinguished himself. Foster is younger and is, if nothing else, an NBA athlete. He has the strength and vertical explosiveness to become a dangerous rim protector one day.

The Sixers don’t really have a need at center right now — Joel Embiid, Paul Reed, Montrezl Harrell, and P.J. Tucker all sit ahead of Foster on the positional depth chart — but given the fickle nature of Embiid’s health, it doesn’t hurt to have another emergency option.

On paper, Foster has the right skill set for Philadelphia. He’s an above-the-rim player, flushing lobs and crashing the glass for second-chance points on offense. If he ever sniffs the court, it wouldn’t be hard for Foster to develop pick-and-roll chemistry with James Harden, one of the game’s truly great passers.

Foster showcased some genuine skill last season too. He’s not just a dunker. He can drive the lane with long strides and purposeful footwork. His post fadeaway made frequent appearances for the Ignite last season. Foster also shot 31.3 percent on 1.2 attempts per game from 3-point range. If he can continue to expand his range, it’s hard to deny the long-term appeal.

This feels like the right move for Philly. Foster was certainly the most impressive summer player who wasn’t properly under contract. With Bassey flaming out, there’s plenty of fertile opportunity for Foster. He will be featured with the Delaware Blue Coats next season and the Sixers have elevated two-way bigs in the past (see: Paul Reed).

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