Jaden Springer, the 28th overall pick in the 2021 draft, has only appeared in 18 NBA games in his first two professional seasons, logging just 95 total minutes in those contests. The Sixers guard began making his case in the team’s preseason opener on Sunday for more playing time in year three, racking up 14 points, five rebounds, and a pair of assists in 24 minutes of action.
“I’m just proud of him, man,” Tyrese Maxey said after the game, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “He’s been working the last three years. I told him, ‘This year, it’s time. We’re probably going to need you. We’re going to need you to step up and play bigger and older than what you are.’ … So I’m proud of him.”
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 2022/23, earning Finals MVP honors for the NBAGL champions.
The Sixers will have until October 31 to make a decision on Springer’s $4.02MM rookie scale team option for the 2024/25 season. Although that cap hit is pretty team-friendly, it would cut into Philadelphia’s projected cap room for next summer. Maintaining that cap flexibility has been a priority for the front office, so Springer’s option isn’t a lock to be exercised.
Here’s more on the 76ers:
- With Jalen McDaniels, Matisse Thybulle, and Georges Niang no longer on the roster, a handful of new and returning players are fighting for minutes on the wing, as Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer details. Danuel House and Furkan Korkmaz, who were out of the rotation for much of last season, are among those in the mix, along with newcomers like Kelly Oubre and Danny Green.
- Within a wide-ranging conversation with Mizell, Sixers assistant coach Rico Hines praised guard Terquavion Smith, who took part in Hines’ pickup games at UCLA this summer after signing a two-way contract with Philadelphia as an undrafted free agent. “I think he has a world of talent, and I think the sky’s the limit for him to continue to grow and get better,” Hines said. “He’s a kid that had first-round talent if he would have come out, probably, a year ago. But whatever the case may be, he fell to us and we’re lucky to have him. For us, it’s just continuing to coach him and getting him better. But I thought he raised a lot of eyebrows in there from veteran guys saying, ‘Man, who is this kid?’ Because they didn’t know him.
- Although James Harden has been a full participant in Sixers’ last few practices, it’s unclear whether he’ll make his preseason debut on Wednesday, per head coach Nick Nurse, who says the team continues to take a “day by day” approach with the star guard. Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer has the story.