Having selecting Jaden Springer with the 28th overall pick, the Sixers clearly showed to have high hopes for a guy that was not expected to be on the board at that spot. The rookie spoke with the media today in his introductory press conference and give a glimpse into his potential fit with the team:
Springer’s Relationship with Tobias Harris
In the case of Springer, he mentioned building a relationship during his time in college. Tobias Harris is also a Tennnesse alum and said would occasionally reach out and put it- “He hit me up a couple (of) times during the season just like motivating me telling ‘you got it, bro’ and keep working.”
There is also a friendly rivalry on the team, as Springer spoke about the matchup with Kentucky, where Tyrese Maxey spent his college season, during the presser. The two young guards project as being able to complement each other on the court, so this will be an exciting duo to watch develop.
Springer’s Improvement Areas
One area of criticism surrounding Springer is his lack of three-point volume during his one season at college. While he connected at a 43.5% rate, the 6’4 guard only attempted 1.8 per game which tied for fifth on the team. When asked about this Jaden replied that he “was just sticking to the gameplan and our system.” He continued to say, “My role wasn’t to take a bunch of threes so I was just trying to stick to that.”
In addition to his shooting, the combo guard mentioned that he has been making it a priority to work on his handle and explosiveness. Springer believes he can contribute as a secondary ball-handler and is looking to sharpen these skills to ensure this is the case. He mentioned that he was well aware there would be a learning curve and put it, “There’s gonna be a lot of learning and just trying to soak up all the information (I) can.”
Toughness Could Provide Immediate Impact
While he may not be as “NBA-ready” of a prospect as fans were hoping for, there are areas where he is certainly advanced for his age. The 18-year-old was asked what he can bring to the team to help right away due to the Sixers’ status as contenders. Springer took the question in stride and replied, “Off rip, I feel like I’ll be able to bring some toughness and physicality on both ends of the court.”
I had a chance to ask Springer what guys he sees shades of his own game in and he was not shy with the names he mentioned. The Jrue Holiday comparison is seemingly the one Springer put the most stock in and I would certainly agree with that. He will likely always be a defensive-minded player and his near 6’8 wingspan will help him to wreak havoc in passing lanes.
There is a lot to be excited about regarding the 18-year-old moving forward. Springer also talked about how he constantly plays like he has a chip on his shoulder and with “that dog mentality.” He described himself as a “chill person,” and seemed excited to get to work. The first glimpse at seeing the rookie in action will occur in summer league in which the Sixers will tip-off on August 9th.
Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire