Jaden Springer

Atlantic Notes: Hartenstein, Raptors, Springer, Muscala

Isaiah Hartenstein earned some extra money on top of his base salary on Thursday. The Knicks center surpassed 1,350 minutes this season, which triggered a $350K bonus, ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets.

The bonus had been deemed likely and was included in his cap hit for 2023/24 since the Knicks big man met the same minutes benchmark in ’22/23. Hartenstein has a base salary of approximately $8.2MM, along with $1.05MM in likely bonuses.

The Knicks hold Early Bird rights on Hartenstein, who will be an unrestricted free agent after the season. New York can offer him a multiyear contract with a starting salary of up to $16MM.

We have from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Raptors can feel cautiously optimistic about their lineup, The Athletic’s Eric Koreen opines, since Immanuel Quickley, Scottie Barnes, Gary Trent Jr., RJ Barrett and Jakob Poeltl are playing well together. The only hitch is that Trent will be an unrestricted free agent, though Gradey Dick might be ready to take that spot. They could also use a defensive specialist on the wing, Koreen adds.
  • Jaden Springer didn’t anticipate getting traded at this stage of his career, he admitted to Gina Mizell of the Philadelphia Inquirer. He was dealt from the Sixers to the Celtics earlier this month. “I wasn’t expecting that,” the 2021 first rounder said. “But I [didn’t] really think about it too much. It happened, and I was OK with moving on to the next thing. I’m here [in Boston] now, and that’s what I’m really focused on.” Sixers exec Daryl Morey didn’t view Springer as a rotation player in the postseason for the next few seasons, Mizell explains, which is why he was shipped out for an asset — a 2024 second-rounder — that could potentially be flipped for a veteran role player.
  • The Celtics are eligible to sign Mike Muscala but it doesn’t seem likely, Brian Robb of Masslive.com writes. Muscala was bought out by the Pistons this week after he was acquired in a trade with Washington in mid-January. However, teams like the Knicks and Sixers would appear to be better fits, given that Muscala could get immediate playing time in their frontcourts. Boston would not be able to offer him any regular minutes while the team is healthy, and the C’s added a big man at the trade deadline in Xavier Tillman.

Celtics Notes: Brown, Springer, Tillman, Stevens, Porzingis, Holiday

Celtics forward Jaylen Brown finished second in the All-Star dunk contest and he’s open to participating again, according to Souichi Terada of Masslive.com. Brown said he had a “great time” during the event.

“If nobody else cares to do it, (expletive) it, I’ll do it again,” Brown said. “I don’t really care. People think like memes and stuff. But like I said, I think dunking is an art form. Obviously, I think I got more in the tank than what I displayed. I think I could perform better. I had a great time.”

We have more on the Celtics:

  • Boston returned from the All-Star break with a fully healthy roster, Brian Robb of MassLive.com reports. Jaden Springer, who was acquired from Philadelphia at the trade deadline for a second round pick, had been sidelined with a right ankle impingement during the past two weeks. Big man Xavier Tillman, who was acquired from Memphis a day before the deadline, has been cleared to play for the first time since the trade. He has been recovering from left knee soreness for the past few weeks. Both saw playing time in the team’s victory over Chicago on Thursday.
  • President of basketball operations Brad Stevens noted during a wide-ranging interview with Heavy.com’s Steve Bulpett that team building goes well beyond the player roster. “I feel very, very responsible for putting a team together that not only includes the players, but coaches, trainers, nutrition, analytics and everyone else that is on one page and represents the Celtics really well,” Stevens said. “We will be judged on how well we play and how many games we win and our competitive character that we exhibit through it. So just putting all of the right people in all of the right spots to do that is, I think, the No. 1 responsibility. Get the right people on the bus, and make sure that we’re all moving in one direction.”
  • In his midseason evaluation of the Celtics’ strong first half, Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe details how much Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday have changed the way the team plays.

Celtics Notes: Brown, Porzingis, Heat Rivalry, Springer

Tensions between the Celtics and Heat flared up again Sunday afternoon, highlighted by an exchange between Jaylen Brown and Duncan Robinson, writes Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. With 7:54 remaining, Robinson was whistled for a foul when he and Brown got tangled up on an inbounds play. As Brown tried to free himself, he pulled down on Robinson’s left arm and twisted his body, tossing Robinson to the ground.

Robinson grabbed at his left shoulder and began talking to Brown, who was called for a flagrant 1 foul following a video review of the play. They had to be separated after another exchange of words before Robinson went to the foul line.

“I just thought it was a dirty play, to be honest with you,” Robinson said. “That’s how people miss entire seasons with those types of plays. You’ve seen it before and throughout the history of the NBA. Guys suffer really bad injuries from instances exactly like that.”

Brown defended his actions, saying he wasn’t trying to hurt Robinson. He also accused the Heat — Boston’s opponent in the last two Eastern Conference Finals — of having a reputation for getting away with fouls and “mucking up the game.”

‘I think he knew exactly what he was trying to do, trying to get tangled up because he didn’t want to play defense,” Brown said. “They called the foul but he was still trying to hang on so I was trying to get my arm free.”

There’s more on the Celtics:

  • Kristaps Porzingis had another injury scare on Sunday, Himmelsbach adds, suffering a back contusion on a collision with Bam Adebayo midway through the third quarter. Porzingis was able to return later in the game and doesn’t believe it’s anything to be concerned about. “My back is fine,” he said. “I got a little bump from Bam on the rebound and it was just kind of like nothing serious. Went to the back, made sure it was good and warmed up again.”
  • Porzingis views Brown’s exchange with Robinson as positive for the team, per Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. The Celtics have been accused of lacking toughness with Marcus Smart and Grant Williams no longer on the roster, and Porzingis enjoyed seeing Brown stand up to the Heat. “When they got into it again, I kind of liked it, it got the whole crowd into it, it was a good atmosphere,” he said. “I love it. I think we have to take those emotional moments in a good way, make us fired up, controlled. We have to stay controlled because that’s their game. They need us to react to something.”
  • Newly acquired Jaden Springer is brushing off comments from Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey suggesting that a second-round pick has more value to the franchise than Springer does, according to Souichi Terada of MassLive. Springer isn’t bothered by last week’s trade, saying he’s focused on finding a role with the Celtics. “Coming to a team like this, you can’t go wrong,” Springer said. “Especially probably the best team in the league. A bunch of great guys. Great organization. So far, I’m loving it here.”

Celtics Notes: Tillman, Porzingis, Springer, Buyout Market

When they were teammates with the Grizzlies, Xavier Tillman used to ask Marcus Smart about the experience of playing in Boston, never expecting to get the opportunity to do so himself before the end of the season, writes Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Seeking help in the frontcourt, the Celtics acquired Tillman from Memphis on Wednesday in exchange for Lamar Stevens and a pair of second-round picks. He’s looking forward to experiencing first-hand everything Smart said about Boston fans.

“The main thing he told me is it’s very similar to Memphis in terms of the grit and the grind and how hard you have to work for the fans and appreciation and stuff like that,” Tillman said. “And once you do show that you’re willing to hustle, they’re going love you. I love it.”

The Celtics had their eye on Tillman for several years and considered selecting him in the 2020 draft, Himmelsbach adds. Memphis took him with the 35th overall pick, and he has built a reputation as a hard worker and versatile defender during his four NBA seasons.

“It’s crazy, to be honest with you,” Tillman said. “I’ve always watched the Celtics in terms of just the winning history of it, back with [Kevin Garnett] and all that stuff and seeing these guys repeatedly go to the Eastern Conference finals all the time, I’m always locked in on that. So for me to get the opportunity to be part of a winning organization, it’s pretty awesome.”

There’s more from Boston:

  • Kristaps Porzingis wasn’t upset about being passed over as an injury replacement for the All-Star Game, Himmelsbach adds. Trae Young and Scottie Barnes were selected this week to take the place of Joel Embiid and Julius Randle. “Of course there’s some prestige in that and maybe five years ago that was something that was always on my mind, but it doesn’t change anything,” Porzingis said. “To be honest there’s a big part of me that’s kind of happy I can go to Miami or somewhere where there’s sun, get some tan, lift some weights, prepare my body for the rest of the season and then postseason.”
  • President of basketball operations Brad Stevens had been hoping to acquire Jaden Springer from the Sixers since watching him when their teams met in the preseason, according to Jared Weiss of The Athletic. Stevens got his chance when Philadelphia opted to unload the 21-year-old guard to create more financial flexibility and add an extra second-round pick. Weiss notes that Stevens also faced an urgency to add talent before the deadline because of the limitations that will be placed on teams above the tax apron starting this summer.
  • A Celtics reunion with Danilo Gallinari appears unlikely, Brian Robb of MassLive states in a mailbag column. The Pistons waived Gallinari on Friday, but Robb believes his mobility is still affected by last year’s ACL tear, causing teams to target him on defense. Robb views Otto Porter as a more desirable option if he reaches a buyout with the Jazz, but he cautions that Boston would face competition from several teams.

Sixers Notes: Buyout Market, Hield, Embiid, Springer

The Sixers acquired Buddy Hield from the Pacers on Thursday, which helps them with shooting and scoring, but Philadelphia needs to focus on getting back some toughness and defense on the buyout market, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes. Some of that toughness was lost when the team traded Patrick Beverley to the Bucks, according to Pompey, but the Sixers made that move with the confidence they’d be able to land guard depth via free agency.

All signs point to Hornets point guard Kyle Lowry landing in Philadelphia. Lowry, who is expected to be bought out after the Heat traded him in exchange for Terry Rozier earlier in the season, previously played for Nick Nurse on Toronto’s 2019 title team and is a Philadelphia native. While the Lakers are another potential destination, the Sixers feel good about bringing him in, according to Pompey.

Philadelphia has three open roster spots after the deadline and adding another center to the mix should be another priority, Pompey writes. With Joel Embiid out due to a long-term injury, Paul Reed and Mohamed Bamba are holding down the fort at the center position. Not many pure centers are on the buyout market yet, but Robin Lopez and Danilo Gallinari are among big men who were recently bought out. Bismack Biyombo is another option on the free agency market.

We have more notes on the Sixers:

  • The Sixers are enthusiastic about the acquisition of Hield, whom general manager Daryl Morey believes is the best player among those traded on Thursday, according to Pompey. “I felt like he gave us exactly what we were looking for, which is that he’s one of the best three-point shooters in NBA history,” Morey said. “We really like what he adds to the team and we feel like our healthy group, our playoff rotation, with Buddy Hield is right there with everyone in the entire league.” Morey also pointed out that not many bigs were traded, and the reason the Sixers didn’t address that position via trade was due to a lack of options.
  • Morey is hopeful Embiid will be back this season after suffering a meniscus injury that is expected to keep him out of action for one or two months, according to PHLY Sports’ Derek Bodner (Twitter link). “We’re hopeful,” Morey said. “Feedback has been more good than bad…so we’re hopeful, and we’re building the team to make it better this year. We’re hopeful he can get back to that [MVP level]. We feel we got a real shot.
  • Philadelphia surprised some by trading away 21-year-old guard Jaden Springer, who seemed to just be coming into his own, for a second-round pick. Morey explained the decision by saying the Sixers felt Springer may not be ready to contribute in the playoffs by the end of his rookie contract, while the second-round pick they got for him could potentially be used to trade for a veteran next season, according to Bodner (Twitter link). “We want things that can help us out on the court now with Joel,” Morey said (Twitter link via PHLY Sports’ Kyle Neubeck). “... For me, the Jaden thing was successful.

Celtics Notes: Trades, Stevens, Springer, Tillman, Roster

The Celtics made a somewhat surprising trade with a division rival on Thursday, landing third-year guard Jaden Springer from Philadelphia in exchange for a 2024 second-round pick. Speaking to the media on Friday, president of basketball operations Brad Stevens said the former first-round pick was a player they’d been eyeing for a few years, writes Brian Robb of MassLive.com.

We’ve tracked his development pretty closely over the years,” Stevens said. “We liked him in the draft a few years ago. He was the youngest player in that draft. He’s still a puppy. He’s still 21 years old. He was unbelievable in the G League playoffs last year. He’s done a lot of good things against us when he’s been up in Maine. We’ve seen him live several times up there. He’s a guy we’ve been tracking for a while.”

Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe hears from a source (Twitter link) that Springer was “strongly endorsed” by a pair of former 76ers assistant coaches who are now with the Celtics — Sam Cassell and Tyler Lashbrook.

He is an athlete that can play athletically in the playoffs, right?” Stevens said of Springer, per Jay King of The Athletic. “But he also has a lot of growing to get better and he’s committed to that. He’s got a long runway ahead. So we’ll see how this year shakes itself out for him. See how it all fits with the team. But he’s a guy that we believe in.”

Here’s more on the Celtics:

  • According to King, Stevens indicated that part of the reason Boston was interested in Springer and Xavier Tillman, the team’s other trade acquisition (from Memphis), is that they’re young players who could develop with the Celtics, who have a chance to retain them long-term. Tillman will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, but Boston has his Bird rights, so it will be able to potentially re-sign him without worrying about salary cap limitations. Springer, meanwhile, already had his fourth-year team option exercised, and will be eligible for restricted free agency in 2025 if he doesn’t sign a rookie scale extension in the offseason. The Celtics project to be over the second tax apron next season, when they’ll be more limited in how they can construct their roster due to the new CBA.
  • Stevens said the front office didn’t want to disrupt the team’s chemistry, which is why the Celtics made a pair of relatively minor moves. As with Springer, Tillman was a player they’d liked for quite a while, particularly due to his defensive versatility and basketball IQ. “He competes, he passes, thinks the game well,” Stevens said, per King. “All the stuff that we’ve been fortunate with the guys we have around our best players, that they brought to the table. He knows how to play. So we’re excited to have him.” However, Tillman indicated that he’s still dealing with a left knee injury and has no timetable for his Celtics debut.
  • While Stevens praised two-way center Neemias Queta, who has been viewed as a candidate to be promoted to a standard deal, he said the Celtics aren’t in a rush to fill the opening on their 15-man roster, tweets Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston. “I don’t know if making that final decision and saying, ‘OK, these are our 15 guys right now with two months left in the season,’ makes a lot of sense. I think we need to utilize this time to evaluate,” Stevens said.
  • The Celtics send the Trail Blazers $3MM in cash as part of their Dalano Banton trade, reports Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report (Twitter link).

Sixers Trade Jaden Springer To Celtics

9:38pm: The deal is official, according to announcements from the Sixers and Celtics.

2:00pm: The Sixers and Celtics have agreed to a trade that will send third-year guard Jaden Springer to Boston in exchange for a second-round pick, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

The 2024 second-rounder the 76ers are receiving will either be Chicago’s or New Orleans’, whichever is more favorable, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link).

Boston will acquire Springer using its $6.2MM traded player exception, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. Moving Springer means Joel Embiid will be the only player on Philadelphia’s roster with a guaranteed contract for 2024/25, Marks adds.

The 28th pick of the 2021 draft, Springer only appeared in 18 regular season games for 95 total minutes over his first two NBA seasons. Still just 21 years old, the former Tennessee Volunteer has played 32 games this season, averaging 4.0 points in 11.8 minutes per contest.

At 6’4″ and 204 pounds, Springer has a sturdy build for a guard, and he put up strong defensive stats in the NBA G League from 2021-23. He hasn’t provided much on offense at the NBA level, however, with a career shooting line of .416/.238/.810.

Springer makes $2.2MM this season and will earn a guaranteed $4MM next season after the Sixers picked up their option on the final year of his rookie scale contract. While it’s hard to envision him playing much for Boston this season, he didn’t cost much to acquire, and the team clearly likes him as a prospect. His contract could be also useful for salary-matching purposes in 2024/25.

Sixers Notes: Oubre, Nurse, Springer, LaVine, Maxey

Sixers coach Nick Nurse told reporters he doesn’t have any reason to doubt Kelly Oubre‘s version of an accident over the weekend that left him a broken rib, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Oubre said he was walking near his residence Saturday night when he was struck in the chest by the driver’s-side mirror of a vehicle that was making a turn. A police spokesperson said Wednesday that surveillance footage of the area hasn’t shown the accident, and the investigation is ongoing.

“Listen, I don’t think it’s very fair to him to say that he’s made up some story,” Nurse said after Wednesday’s game. “I just don’t. I’m going to believe him at his word. He’s one of our players, and we’re going to stand behind him. So am I.”

Medics treated Oubre at the scene, and he was taken to Thomas Jefferson University hospital for injuries to his rib, hip and leg before being released Saturday night. Police Sgt. Eric Gripp told Pompey that Oubre isn’t being accused of anything, but police still haven’t been able to verify his version of events. Nurse said he would only become concerned if law enforcement were to determine that Oubre’s story isn’t true.

“Listen, like I said before, I believe Kelly at his word,” Nurse added. “I don’t have any other conversations or anything right now to comment on. I’m concentrating on this game. If some more evidence or anything else comes to light, we will handle it when it comes to light.”

There’s more from Philadelphia:

  • Jaden Springer was kept on the bench in three of the Sixers’ last four games, but he looked like a rotation player on Wednesday, Pompey adds in a separate story. The third-year guard hit 4-of-5 shots from the field and was a team-best +20 for the night. “It was really coming in and trying to make an impact,” Springer said, “like staying aggressive. I know my defense is going to be there. But I was trying to show a little more on offense, just showing I can help on both.”
  • The Sixers have been mentioned as a potential suitor for Zach LaVine, but Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack column that the Bulls guard is unlikely to wind up in Philadelphia. Stein cites a recent interview in which Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey said he’s looking for his next major addition to be another play-maker who is “pretty solid on both ends,” and Stein notes that description doesn’t fit LaVine.
  • Appearing on The Bill Simmons Podcast this week (hat tip to Bleacher Report), former Sixers coach Doc Rivers said Tyrese Maxey is a much better fit as the lead ball-handler alongside Joel Embiid than James Harden was. “Tyrese, you knew this was going to happen,” Rivers said. “I said that he was going to have a breakout year. Now, I did say it with the knowledge that I felt James wasn’t going to be there. I wouldn’t have made that prediction the other way because he wouldn’t have the ball in his hands.”

Sixers Pick Up 2024/25 Option On Jaden Springer

8:45pm: Springer’s option has officially been exercised, per the Sixers.

8:25pm: The Sixers are picking up their fourth-year option on guard Jaden Springer, sources tell Kyle Neubeck and Derek Bodner of PHLY Sports (Twitter link).

While most rookie scale option decisions are a formality, in part due to the relatively modest cap hits, there was some uncertainty about whether or not the Sixers would exercise their 2024/25 option on Springer — it will hurt their ability to maximize cap room next offseason, which is a priority for the front office. But evidently Philadelphia is high enough on Springer to pay him a guaranteed $4,018,363 next season.

Another reason there was a level of uncertainty on Springer’s fourth-year option is the fact that he only played 18 regular season games for a total of 95 minutes over his first two seasons. However, while Springer hasn’t had a regular role at the NBA level, he had a strong season with the Delaware Blue Coats (Philadelphia’s G League affiliate) in ’22/23, earning Finals MVP honors for the NBAGL champions.

The No. 28 overall pick of the 2021 draft after one college season at Tennessee, Springer was one of the youngest players in his draft class. He just turned 21 years old last month and is now in his third NBA season.

Under new head coach Nick Nurse, Springer played well during preseason action and has appeared in two of Philadelphia’s three games thus far in ’23/24, blocking three shots in 12 minutes of playing time. He recently talked about trying to stay ready despite an uncertain role.

The full list of ’24/25 rookie scale option decisions can be found right here.

Sixers Notes: Oubre, Maxey, Embiid, Nurse, Springer

Forward Kelly Oubre will be looking to raise his stock in 2023/24 after signing a one-year deal with the Sixers for the veteran’s minimum last month. Speaking to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium (Twitter video link), Oubre admitted free agency didn’t play out like he had hoped.

It was very disheartening,” he said. “… I guess my efforts felt as if they were a little unappreciated. … I had to take that on the chin.”

While Oubre has come off the bench thus far with Philadelphia, he’s still receiving plenty of playing time through three games (29.3 minutes). He’s averaging 19.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG and 2.0 SPG on .500/.313/.933 shooting in the early going. The 27-year-old wing will be an unrestricted free agent again in 2024.

Here’s more on the Sixers:

  • The “free-flowing” offense deployed by new head coach Nick Nurse has benefited multiple players on the roster, with Joel Embiid becoming more of a play-maker and Eastern Conference player of the week Tyrese Maxey looking like an All-Star in James Harden‘s absence, writes Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. If Harden does eventually play for Philadelphia this season, he’ll have to adapt to the new system instead of dominating the ball like he has become accustomed to, according to O’Connor. Maxey will hit restricted free agency next summer after the Sixers decided to preserve 2024 cap room by not giving the fourth-year guard a rookie scale extension.
  • Embiid’s early-season form suggests that he is embracing the changes Philadelphia made this offseason, according to Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic, who writes that the reigning MVP “seems unaffected” by the Harden situation. Embiid, who is averaging a career-best 7.0 assists per night through three games, finished with 35 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists, two steals and six blocks in just 29 minutes in Sunday’s home-opening blowout win over Portland. “Good basketball to me means cutting, moving, guys getting off the ball, the ball is moving, the ball is not sticking, we’re playing together, we’re playing as a team,” he said.
  • Third-year guard Jaden Springer is finally receiving some playing time after appearing in just 18 NBA games for 95 total minutes over his first two regular seasons. Although Springer has made an impact with his shot blocking, he needs to cut down on fouls to earn more consistent minutes, observes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The 21-year-old had four fouls in under four minutes during the second quarter vs. Portland. “I’m trying to stay level-headed,” Springer said. “Every game is going to be different, not knowing when I’m going to get my call to play or not knowing what my minutes are going to be. But being ready for anything, whatever they throw at me.” The 76ers have until tomorrow to decide if they want to exercise their fourth-year option on Springer’s rookie scale contract.