There has been an overly negative perception of Jaden Springer since the Philadelphia 76ers selected him with the 28th overall pick in the 2021 draft. Springer has been unable to fill the massive shoes that were left by Tyrese Maxey in the previous draft and played a total of just six total minutes at the NBA level in his rookie season. The Tennessee product recently turned 20 years old and still has plenty of time to grow into the player he has flashed the potential to be. Through the first two days of training camp, Springer has shown the early signs of this development coming along exactly as the organization has hoped. PJ Tucker had a promising quote surrounding the young guard that can be seen in the tweet below.
What Else is Being Said About Springer?
Tucker was not the only member of the Sixers that spoke glowingly about Springer. Doc Rivers has pointed out his impressive play following both practices thus far and most recently put it, “Jaden Springer today, defensively, was absolutely wonderful. We got to figure out what position he is,” per Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Tyrese Maxey also joined the praise for Springer. Per Ky Carlin of SixersWire, Maxey put it:
“He’s growing, man. I push him because I love him. He’s a year after me so I guess I’m a little big brother to him, but I’m proud of him. He’s shooting the ball well, too and that’s going unnoticed. What he’s doing on the defensive end, pressuring and getting through screens, Spence (Spencer Rivers) calls him ‘unscreenable’. To be unscreenable in the NBA, that’s a good job,”- Tyrese Maxey per Ky Carlin
These signs of progress from Springer are exactly what the team was hoping to see. Making an impact in training camp is the first step to earning minutes this year. The added depth on the Sixers roster has made this a more difficult task, but Springer looks to be answering the call.
Expectations for Jaden Springer
Looking back at his rookie year, it was a mixed-bag performance for Springer in the G-League. In the 19-game regular season last year, he averaged 14.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. He also shot just 24.1% on three-point attempts while launching 3.1 per game.
The comment that Coach Rivers made about finding a position for Springer is especially interesting. This appears to be the biggest hurdle for the young prospect at this point. With his 6’4″ height and strong frame, Springer plays with impressive physicality. However, his handle has not been strong enough to play a lead-guard position. If he wants to excel as a shooting guard he must get more comfortable in catch-and-shoot opportunities and Springer still looked shy in these chances in summer league.
His defense will likely always be his calling card as he could excel at the NBA level on this side of the ball already. However, growing on the offensive side of the ball is essential to Springer earning time on the court. There is still a lot to be desired in this area overall, but the early signs from the second-year guard in training camp are extremely encouraging.