NBA Draft : 76ers take Tennessee guard Springer with 28th pick of draft

Sixers take another 1-and-done guard, grabbing Springer at No. 28

The Sixers selected former Gonzaga standout Filip Petrusev with the 50th pick.

Tennessee’s Jaden Springer plays against Alabama during the NCAA college basketball Southeastern Conference Tournament Saturday, March 13, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Trying to rebound after a crushing end to their season, the Philadelphia 76ers selected Tennessee freshman Jaden Springer with the 28th pick of the NBA draft on Thursday night.

The 6-foot-3 guard, who turns 19 in September, averaged 12.5 points in 25 games in his lone season with Tennessee and led the team in free throws made. He’ll be a 3-and-D option off the bench, one area of need for the Sixers. He was an All-Freshman selection in the Southeastern Conference.

“It’s a position where you can see a path to potentially getting on the floor,” 76ers President Daryl Morey said. “It usually takes a rookie more than a year, but you never know.”

He was the first Vol to go one-and-done since new 76ers teammate Tobias Harris in 2011. Keon Johnson also left after one season and was drafted Thursday by the New York Knicks.

Springer offers a bigger frame and could see work at the point in the NBA with his ability to get loose in the open floor and connect with teammates (2.9 assists per game). Springer shot 43.5% from 3-point range, but attempted just 1.8 per game, so it wasn’t a primary weapon for him.


The 76ers left the draft – and perhaps well beyond – with maligned All-Star guard Ben Simmons still on the roster. Simmons, the No. 1 pick of the 2016 draft, has floated in trade proposals ever since the Sixers were eliminated by the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. The three-time All-Star is headed into the second year of a $177 million max deal, but his failures from the free-throw and 3-point lines have made him expendable.

Simmons shot 25 for 73 (34%) from the line in the playoffs and missed 27 alone against the Hawks.

Simmons seemed nonplussed by the trade speculation, posting videos on Instagram of him relaxing in a pool. The Sixers are in no rush to trade Simmons and could wait until the trade deadline – or just keep him – and see if can he can bolster his value by showing some improvement with his jumper and from the line.

Morey declined to address Simmons specifically, only saying the Sixers were pleased with having Joel Embiid, Simmons and Harris in their prime “with a long runway in our mind.”

Morey also said Embiid was in the gym Thursday afternoon and there was no concern over the NBA MVP runner-up’s health after he played in the postseason with a torn meniscus in his right knee.


The Sixers selected former Gonzaga standout and West Coast Conference Player of the Year Filip Petrusev with the 50th pick of the draft. Petrusev left Gonzaga before last year to play professionally in Serbia. The 21-year-old big man was the MVP of the Adriatic League. The Sixers could keep him overseas.

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With the 53rd pick, the Sixers selected Western Kentucky center Charles Bassey. Bassey averaged 17.6 points and 11.6 rebounds with the Hilltoppers and could slide into the role as Embiid’s backup. Bassey was one of the nation’s best shot blockers (fourth at 3.1 per game) and rebounders (fifth at 11.6). That could make him a frontcourt asset for the Sixers, who relied on veteran Dwight Howard as the big off the bench last season.

The Sixers went 49-23 and earned the top seed in the East. They lost three games at home to the Hawks in the East semis.

“I view the draft as the really important blocking and tackling you do if you plan to have a consistent winner like we do in Philly,” Morey said.

Sixers take another 1-and-done guard, grabbing Springer at No. 28

for a second consecutive season, the Sixers decided to stay put in the NBA draft and select a one-and-done guard.F

The team took Jaden Springer with the 28th pick in Thursday night’s draft.

The 18-year-old Springer averaged 12.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists at Tennessee. He’s a strong, athletic player with a solid defensive foundation. Springer posted a 2.7 steal percentage and 2.0 block percentage in college.

Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey is enthusiastic about the player Springer could become.

“Jaden’s really exciting,” Morey said in a press conference early Friday morning via Zoom. “I know GMs get killed for talking about upside, but he’s not 19 yet, already a productive player at Tennessee. We feel good about his ability to be a 3-and-D player in this league. We all know how valuable they are.

“He was a top high school recruit, which I think often points to a good pool of players to pick from. … So we’re really excited about Jaden. He’s in a position where you could see a path to him potentially getting on the floor. Usually it takes a rookie more than a year, but you never know.”

Springer shot the ball well last season, making 43.5 percent of his three-pointers and 81 percent of his free throws. However, he appears to have room to develop as a shooter, since his jumper is not the most fluid.

Morey is fully aware Springer wasn’t a frequent three-point shooter at Tennessee — 46 total attempts — but believes he’ll improve over time beyond the NBA arc.

“Obviously he had a good track record in college, but limited,” Morey said. “I think you’re touching on an important thing: He made a very high percentage of his threes in college but often the volume will tell you a little bit more. We think his shooting will be something that probably right out of the gate, we wouldn’t expect him to come in and bang 40 percent of NBA threes.

“But we know he’s a worker. We know he has the ability. We know he has touch around the rim and can make free throws. All those things often indicate someone who can shoot later. (Head coach Doc Rivers) has bolstered his coaching staff with a shooting skill person who we’re excited to have work with (Springer) and others. We’re going to have a plan for him. He’s not even 19, so the sky’s the limit with Jaden.”

The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor compared Springer, who measured in at 6-foot-3 without shoes and 202 pounds at the NBA draft combine, to Kyle Lowry and Malcolm Brogdon. Those are lofty names to be mentioned alongside, but Springer does have a well-rounded game for his age and possesses playmaking potential, especially if his jumper pans out and defenses need to respect his shot.

Jared Butler, the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four, and Miles McBride from West Virginia were among the other players available at No. 28 that would perhaps have made sense for the Sixers on paper.

Springer will overtake Tyrese Maxey, the team’s selection at No. 21 last year, as the youngest Sixer.

Sixers draft another first-round steal in Jaden Springer

Sixers draft another first-round steal in Jaden Springer

The Sixers have done it again. In Thursday night’s NBA Draft, Daryl Morey and the Sixers front office delivered another promising young player to the franchise in 18-year-old Jaden Springer, a freshman guard out of Tennessee. He was the No. 15 prospect on our big board, and had no business falling as far as he did.

Morey has proven his expertise as a drafter in two years with the franchise. Last season, he capitalized on the unexpected fall of Tyrese Maxey. This season, it’s Springer, who much like Maxey, is a lottery-level talent. He has a chance to earn minutes next season, and should be quick to earn the trust of the Philly faithful.

Springer is young, and he will no doubt need time to grow, but he’s a competent day-one contributor who competes hard. His defense, in conjunction with Maxey’s offensive juice, leaves the Sixers’ bench in good hands.

The Sixers were highly fortunate to select Tennessee freshman Jaden Springer with the 28th pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft.
There was no better value on the board at 28. Morey made — in this writer’s humble opinion — the best possible pick. Another lottery talent slipped in Sharife Cooper, but given the fit concerns with a slender non-shooting guard, Springer was the better option. Morey has hit back-to-back home runs on draft night.

Again, Springer has his imperfections. He shot 44.4 percent from 3 at Tennessee, but did so on very limited volume. The load-up time on his release is a smidge long, and he won’t provide much as an off-the-dribble shooter, but the Sixers can survive with him taking spot-up 3s and attacking closeouts.

Springer is not an elite athlete, but he’s a good one, with strength and length to defend either guard spot at a high level. He’s hyper-aware on the defensive end, with advanced instincts and a genuine will to excel on that side of the ball.

Offensively, Springer is a capable secondary ball-handler and playmaker, with strong court vision and a glue-guy feel to his game. He will connect a lot of dots for teammates, with quick decisions and intelligent off-ball movement. Getting the 3-pointer to fall at a higher volume is the big next step, but Springer’s touch and free-throw success are positive indicators. He’s toolsy and smart and still only 18. Just a remarkable value for the Sixers at 28.

n the second round of Thursday’s NBA Draft, the Sixers angled for two backup centers — Filip Petrusev at 50 and Charles Bassey at 53.
With the 50th and 53rd pick, the Sixers sought out affordable reserve options at center. Philadelphia has tried and failed for years to find a suitable backup to Joel Embiid. We shall see if one of Filip Petrusev or Charles Bassey hits.

In Petrusev, the Sixers get one of the most productive young players in Europe. The former Gonzaga star won Adriatic League MVP last season for Mega Bemax, a long-running hotbed for NBA talent. He led the league in scoring, and shot 41.9 percent from deep. The Sixers are expected to stash him, according to The Athletic’s Rich Hofmann.

Bassey, on the other hand, may get a chance to crack the roster next season. Whether it’s on a rookie-scale contract or a two-way deal is yet to be seen. The former five-star recruit spent three seasons at Western Kentucky, where he dominated lower-level competition and became one of the best rebounding bigs in college basketball. He blocked 3.1 shots per game as a junior, and will take up a lot of space in the lane.

All in all, a successful night behind the controls for Daryl Morey and company. Two draft-night thieveries in a row.


The National Basketball Association (NBA)

is a professional basketball league in North America.

The league is composed of 30 teams (29 in the United States and 1 in Canada) and is one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada.

It is the premier men’s professional basketball league in the world.

The league was founded in New York City on June 6, 1946, as the Basketball Association of America (BAA).It changed its name to the National Basketball Association on August 3, 1949, after merging with the competing National Basketball League (NBL). The NBA‘s regular season runs from October to April, with each team playing 82 games. The league’s playoff tournament extends into June. As of 2020, NBA players are the world’s best paid athletes by average annual salary per player.

The NBA is an active member of USA Basketball (USAB), which is recognized by the FIBA (International Basketball Federation) as the national governing body for basketball in the United States. The league’s several international as well as individual team offices are directed out of its head offices in Midtown Manhattan, while its NBA Entertainment and NBA TV studios are directed out of offices located in Secaucus, New Jersey.

In North America, the NBA is the third wealthiest professional sport league after the National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) by revenue, and among the top four in the world.

The Milwaukee Bucks are the reigning champions, having beaten the Phoenix Suns 4–2 in the 2021 Finals.

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