Jaden Springer

Sixers trade Jaden Springer to Celtics just before deadline

The 21-year-old guard will join the East-leading Celtics.

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The Sixers decided against keeping Jaden Springer as a long-term piece of their team.

They agreed to trade the 21-year-old guard to the Celtics just before Thursday afternoon’s trade deadline, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. In return, the Sixers will receive a 2024 second-round pick (the most favorable between Chicago and New Orleans).

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news of the trade and The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey first reported the draft pick details. 

It will be interesting to see what’s next for the Sixers, who also agreed to send out Patrick Beverley, Danuel House Jr., Marcus Morris Sr. and Furkan Korkmaz in other moves Thursday. They’re adding Buddy Hield and Cameron Payne.

The Sixers selected Springer 28th overall in the 2021 NBA draft. The Tennessee product spent much of his first two professional seasons with the G League’s Delaware Blue Coats and won Finals MVP last year. 

Springer’s jump shot and overall offensive game likely still must improve for him to become a dependable, every-game rotation player on a contending team; he's 8 for 37 (21.6 percent) this year from three-point range. However, he’s displayed tremendous defensive talent and also shown a knack for grabbing offensive boards.  

According to Cleaning the Glass, Springer has ranked in the 99th percentile at his position in both steal rate and block rate this season. He’s been stellar recently in testing individual matchups, too. Springer’s physical, focused, instinctive defense was the biggest reason why Stephen Curry only scored nine points on 2-for-7 shooting in the Warriors’ victory Wednesday night over the Sixers.

Asked last month about Springer’s development, Sixers head coach Nick Nurse said the following: 

“Listen, his opportunities are a little sporadic, obviously. It’s not easy to figure out what’s happening when you’re in and out, but that’s just the reality of our bench and the reality of the situation for him. He’s got to make the most of his opportunities and the times that he does get a chance. 

“We like him. I think he provides certain things that fill some gaps for us — great on-ball defense, an extra possession-getter, etc. It’s still going to come down to can he make some perimeter shots? … When I first got here, he was a hesitant shooter. And we’ve tried to say to him, ‘Listen, if it’s in rhythm, and it comes out to you, you’ve got to take ‘em.’ It’s just going to gum up the offense (if you don’t); it’s going to undo the rhythm. If it’s a rhythm three, you’ve got to take it. Continue to do that, make some of those. 

“And then he’s got to understand that he’s got to cut his foul rate down some. He’s got to do that. There’s times when fouls are needed and important, right? Those are fine. If you’re challenging at the rim and making an (impact) there to take away a bucket, that’s good. But you can’t commit them 84 feet from the basket when they’re in the bonus, or get us quickly into the bonus when you start the fourth quarter or something like that.”

Now, with 50 NBA games under his belt, Springer will work to keep developing for a Sixers rival in the Eastern Conference-leading Celtics. 

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