On the surface, it looks a bit curious. The Philadelphia 76ers took another one-and-done guard in the NBA Draft. What’s so unique about Tennessee basketball backcourt scorer Jaden Springer, who went to Philly as the 28th overall pick, that Shake Milton doesn’t already bring to the table?
Well, there’s one more key name in all of this: Danny Green. It appears as if the Sixers are going to part ways with Green, as he’s an unrestricted free agent, and given the drama with Ben Simmons, why would Green elect to stay in Philly?
With Green gone, the Sixers could move Milton, who is 6’5″ 205 pounds, into the starting lineup at the three. Seth Curry would remain at the two, and assuming he stays, would remain at the one. Heck, even if he goes, Curry could move over to the one, Milton could move to the two and the Sixers could find a wing.
Either way, their selection of Springer in the NBA Draft suggests they are looking for another sixth-man. If Milton moves into the starting lineup, the key for Philly beyond developing Simmons will be to have some scoring off the bench.
We know that Springer, at 6’4″ 204 pounds, could bring key scoring for Philly in that role. He only averaged 12.5 points a game last year, but that was because the ball was spread around a bunch of people. That scoring included shooting 81 percent from the free throw line and 43.5 percent from the three-point line.
Combine that with the fact that the mid-range, when Springer is on, is the strongest part of his game, and he’s actually a complete scorer. That’s exactly what the Sixers will need next year with Green gone. Now, they will lose a bit defensively, but if Simmons stays, the issue for them is going to be offense, not defense.
It’s also worth noting that with the Sixers taking Springer in the NBA Draft, they now have two former Vols who were on-and-done five-star recruits on their team. Tobias Harris still has three years left on his contract. They could have had three if Josh Richardson, who played for them in 2019-2020, wasn’t traded before the start of last year.