The Sixers will have plenty of options with their 28th in the 2021 NBA draft. What are the pros and cons of Tennessee’s Jaden Springer?
Born and raised in Charlotte North Carolina, Jaden Springer has never been one to back down from a challenge. Springer’s high school career started off at Rocky River High School in North Carolina, where he led his team to the state tournament in his freshman year. After his sophomore year, he transferred to one of the best teams in the country at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, where he guarded this year’s projected number one pick, Cade Cunningham, on a few occasions. While at IMG, he also helped his team win the GEICO High School Nationals his junior year. Springer was slated to play in the McDonald’s All American Game in 2020, which was ultimately canceled due to the pandemic.
After receiving multiple offers from top-notch programs like North Carolina, Memphis, and Michigan, Springer ultimately chose to become a Volunteer and play for the University of Tennessee. In the 25 games he played in the 2020-2021, he managed to record 46.7% from the floor and an impressive 43.5% from beyond the arc. To back up his offensive prowess, Springer never shied on the defensive end; it’s actually where he excels the most. He is known to have some sticky fingers in transition, leading to his 1.2 steals per game for the young shooting guard. For Springer’s accomplishments during his freshman year, he was named on the 2021 SEC All-Freshman Team.
Pros of Drafting Springer
Despite only being 18 years old, there’s a sense of great maturity and poise that Springer shows, which can be rare at times for first-year players in the league. Springer shines on the defensive end of the floor and plays with tenacity and strength. For being a shooting guard, his rebounding skills are impressive, with 3.5 RPG during his time at Tennessee. Knowing Springer can hold his own and won’t back down against some of the best in the league should really catch the eyes of the Sixers front office.
Moving past his defensive play, offensively, Springer holds his own. With a solid jump shot, Springer is great from the midrange and can move his game beyond the arc as well. Averaging 12.5 PPG and 2.9 APG for the Volunteers, he definitely makes his scoring presence known. Being so young and already having a great grasp on his own game, Springer shows promise to obtain the high ceiling that is placed over him.
Cons of Drafting Springer
One of Springer’s biggest problems is a bit out of his control. Standing at 6’4 can tend to limit his level of athleticism that we normally can count on from a shooting guard. Another weakness of his lies with his sloppy handle on the ball. During his time at Tennessee, Springer averaged 2.4 turnovers per game, resulting from his loose grip. The Sixers have had their fair share of turnover woes this year, so they should be mindful of this when selecting to draft him this year.
Fit on the Sixers
Springer fits like a glove defensively. Doc Rivers loves a player who plays hard and constantly praises his “low minute guys” and wants to see them excel. He is full of grit and would have the coaches and the fanbase in love with the aggressiveness and physical play that he brings to each game. Doc will look to give some promising minutes to Springer once he proves his work ethic to him. The Sixers are going to be a great defensive team this year no matter what, but having another guy with that mindset will only make the team a force to be reckoned with on that end of the floor.
While the Sixers definitely improved this year in the perimeter shooting department, there’s always room for growth as the league is starting to heavily rely on the 3 pointer. Springer has shown us that he is not afraid of shooting behind the arc with his time at Tennessee. With the uncertainty of Danny Green’s future with the Sixers, the team is in need of a young “3 and D” type of player that Springer could provide us with.
Despite his size and lack of ball-handling skills, Springer can become a great asset for the Sixers. Daryl Morey should really consider calling his name if he’s still around at the 28th pick, and here’s to hoping that he will be.