76ers Turn to G-League Standout Darius Bazley Amidst Injury Woes

Feb 18, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Team ELY forward Babacar Sane (4) of the G League Ignite
Feb 18, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Team ELY forward Babacar Sane (4) of the G League Ignite / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The shorthanded Philadelphia 76ers are looking to their G-League for a spark heading into the second half of the season. The team agreed to terms with Darius Bazley, a forward with the Delaware Blue Coats, to a ten-day contract. Bazley will join the team for matchups against the Knicks, Cavaliers, and Bucks with an opportunity for an additional ten-day or a full-year contract.

With injuries to Joel Embiid, DeAnthony Melton, Nico Batum, Tobias Harris, Robert Covington, and others, Bazley will have a chance to show he belongs back in the NBA.

Drafted by the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2019, Bazley boasts career averages of 9.1 points per game to go along with 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists. His best year came in 2020 when he started 55 games for the Thunder averaging 13.7 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.7 assists. 

Following four seasons with the Thunder, Bazley was traded to the Suns at the trade deadline of 2023 for Dario Saric, a second-round pick, and cash considerations. It was an uphill battle for minutes and Bazley suited up in just seven games for the team before becoming a free agent last offseason.

Most recently, Bazley has played for the Blue Coats, putting up big numbers through 24 games. He has been one of the best players in the G-League this season, showcasing this with a big performance in his last game. He scored 38 points and secured 15 rebounds in a dominant display against the Long Island Nets. Perhaps there was a little motivation for Bazley as he was cut by the Nets before the season started back in October. As it stands, he is the only player in the G-League currently averaging at least 20 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks during the regular season and he is also within the top 10 in assists, three-pointers made, steals, and triple-doubles.

Still just 23 years old, Bazley has a lot of potential to make an impact on an NBA roster.

This year he has shown an impressive ability to crash the glass for rebounds and blocks. This will be something to watch for during his evaluation period as the Sixers are looking to replace some of the production lost in the absence of Joel Embiid. Outside of Mo Bamba, the Sixers are lacking in that department and their inside defensive play has been a big reason for their recent struggles.  Bazley gives the team flexibility with the ability to play at both forward positions and center in a small ball lineup

With the Sixers looking to fill two extra roster spots following the signing of Kyle Lowry, Bazley will compete with the likes of Terquavion Smith, and Ricky Council IV to stay with the team on a full NBA contract for the rest of the season and into the postseason.

Sixers fans will get their first look at Bazley in a Philadelphia uniform on Thursday when the team returns to action in their first game following the All-Star break against the Knicks at 7 pm.