Springer, the 28th pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, gives Boston some much-needed guard depth off the bench. While his stats show he isn't a scorer, averaging just 4.0 points per game this season, he succeeds at fellow C's guard Payton Pritchard's biggest weakness -- defense.
Sixers fans were quick to express their disappointment with the trade on social media. Philadelphia used a first-round pick to select Springer, and he had proven to be a promising player within the organization. To receive just a second-round pick in return seemed to be a letdown to fans, but 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey stands by his decision, going as far as claiming the trade to be a success for Philadelphia.
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"I feel like in the phase of our team, we want things that help us on the court now with Joel [Embiid]," Morey said in defense of the trade when questioned by the media. "That was a pick that generally we'd rather push into the future -- and almost all these later picks -- or if we do end up picking someone, we feel like they will either help us on the court or end up in something like this, where you're retaining the ability to use them to go get a Buddy Hield."
Based off of Morey's response, it seems that Springer wasn't seen as a needed piece of the Sixers, a team that has consistently succeeded in the regular season but fallen short come playoff time. Instead of a promising, young, former first-round pick, Morey now has a second-round pick at his disposal -- which could be viewed as an easier piece to add into a trade compared to a player -- to help him make more trades in the future to bring in someone that can make more of an immediate impact. Unfortunately for Morey and the Sixers, the forespoken trade to bring in a player who can contribute immediately will now have to wait as the deadline has passed.
"For me, the Jaden [trade] was successful," Morey added. "I'm totally fine if people want to write the opposite, but if you take any look at late-first or end of the second round [players], 85 percent of those players can't be traded, aren't helping their team on the floor, and can't be traded for positive value that helps you get another player -- Jaden did that. I have to keep my focus on the playoff team now, so that's our focus."
With the Sixers not flipping the second-round pick they received from Boston, it's unclear how the trade makes Philadelphia a better playoff team now. They did make another separate trade that could certainly help that 'win now' mindset by acquiring Hield, who is currently 15th in the NBA in 3-pointers made despite low usage with the Indiana Pacers this season, but that has nothing to do with Morey's explanation of the Springer trade.
It ultimately seems that Morey didn't believe that Springer helps the Sixers become a championship-winning team this season, so he flipped him for what he could get. With Boston having as deep of a team as it does, Springer can continue to develop and improve while learning from some of the most talented players the league has to offer, while still being used situationally where his defensive prowess can shine.