If Travis Schlenk chooses to address the backup point guard position through the draft, he would be wise to bring in a player who can contribute immediately and give the team positive defensive minutes. Jaden Springer is an off-guard with the potential of becoming a lead guard off the bench if he develops as a pick-and-roll initiator.
You can never have enough wings in the NBA, and the Hawks could use Springer’s defensive prowess. He’s an efficient scorer, recording 12.5 points per game last season on 46.7% shooting from the field and 43.3% from three-point land. His motor is impressive, and the effort shows on the defensive end, pick-pocketing dribbles and jumping into passing lanes. He plays good one-on-one and team defense.
Springer is a sniper from deep and a willing passer. With a ton of ball handlers on Tennessee, he was still able to average just under three assists per contest. I believe that is why he can develop into a facilitator. He is not incredibly athletic, so I don’t ever expect him to become a go-to scorer at the next level. However, at 6’4” and 202 pounds, Springer is noticeably bigger than most guards his age (18), which bodes well for him as a defender in the NBA. He knows how to use his size on the offensive end of the court as well. He shot over 65% on his attempts at the rim and averaged four free throw attempts per game, shooting at an 81% clip from the line.
Springer isn’t a flashy offensive prospect, but what he does well, the Hawks could use. This team will always be offense-first because of Trae Young, but with Springer, Atlanta becomes a bit tougher on the defensive end and adds more shooting.
Photo: Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire