The NBA season is rapidly approaching and teams are desperately looking to put the final touches on their respective rosters. The Philadelphia 76ers are no different and currently have 17 rostered players for 15 spots. The team will need to make a decision and cut down to the roster limit ahead of the regular season start. While making cuts are a brutal reality, the Sixers certainly would prefer to make a trade rather than let a player walk without getting something in return. However, it is a difficult decision on which players will be on the move if the opportunity does arise.
When looking at the most likely players to be traded on each NBA team ahead of the season’s start, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report named Jaden Springer as the player most likely to be traded from the Sixers. Buckley pointed to the 20-year-old not matching the Sixers’ timeline and stated:
“Unfortunately for Springer, Philadelphia doesn’t have time to wait. The Sixers are fully focused on the title race, and it’s borderline impossible to picture the sophomore guard contributing to that trek.
If the Sixers see a soft spot in their rotation, a deal including Springer could be their best option to cover it,” written by Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report.
Will Springer be Ready?
The Sixers knew that Springer would be a project when they drafted him with the 28th overall pick in the 2021 draft. The organization stuck to the logic of taking the best player available and the Tennessee product’s upside led the team to this conclusion. Springer has an NBA-ready body and can already defend at an extremely high level, but his lack of offensive understanding and ability will continue to keep him off the NBA floor.
In his rookie year, Springer played a total of just six minutes of NBA basketball. He primarily spent his time with the Delaware Blue Coats. During the G-League regular season, Springer averaged 14.9 minutes, 4.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.5 steals per game in his 26.8 minutes per game. He also shot just 24.1% from beyond the three-point arc. His lack of offensive identity has been a growing concern and the young guard still seems a few years away from being able to contribute at the NBA level.
Why Moving On Makes Sense
There is still plenty of reason for optimism about what Springer can be in the long run. His defensive abilities have drawn rave reviews from teammates during training camp and the physicality he plays with is rare for his age.
However, the Sixers’ goal for the season is to contend for a championship and the 20-year-old will not be much of a help in reaching this. Flipping him in a package for a win-now rotation player to complete the Sixers’ roster is a move that could be best for everyone.
The best route for Springer is to have extended on-court minutes where he can play through the growing pains in his play. Improvements in his ball-handling and shooting are possible but will take some time. The Sixers do not have the luxury to give him these low-pressure minutes and, unless they view him as a part of their future plans, getting a player that can contribute now would be a solid upgrade.