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October 17, 2023

Jaden Springer is playing his way into the Sixers' rotation

Jaden Springer continues to put in a strong preseason for the Sixers, and within Nick Nurse's up-tempo offense, may be ready to jump into a full-time NBA role.

Three preseason games down, and three preseason games where Jaden Springer has been impossible to ignore.

During the Sixers' 127-119 exhibition win over the Nets up in Brooklyn on Monday night, the 21-year-old guard played 24 minutes and put up a line of 11 points on 5-for-9 shooting – including a hit on his lone three – an assist, five rebounds, and three steals in what has continued to build as a stronger and stronger case for a spot in head coach Nick Nurse's rotation and steady NBA minutes. 

It isn't just in the numbers either, it's how he's been getting them. 

This camp and preseason, there's a confidence in Springer's game that wasn't there before. He's been quick and decisive in the moves and shots he takes, and defensively, he hasn't been risk-averse at all to the possibility of looking foolish – as evidenced by his block of Jayson Tatum's dunk from the first exhibition back on Oct. 8 at Boston. 

He's going to go for it and bet that he wins the payoff. 

And so far, he's been making some smart bets. 

Against the Nets specifically on Monday night, Springer used his dribbling to the inside to draw defenders off veteran sharpshooter Danny Green for the pass back out and the three. 

Pulled out this step-back to create space away from Nic Claxton for the jumper.

Then had this sequence where he cut right through Brooklyn defenders on back-to-back layups, hustling back to defend himself in between:

Springer played 16 games for the Sixers last year, and was with the team for the latest ill-fated playoff run, but was only ever kept in a limited role under former coach Doc Rivers, averaging just 2.6 points with 5.6 minutes during the regular season.

The bulk of his time over the past two years, since being selected 28th overall by Philadelphia in the 2021 draft, has been spent developing down in the G-League with Delaware, where his production has been substantially higher with more playing time – 19.0 points on 49.1 percent shooting with 5.3 rebounds and 2.4 steals last season, for example.

And now, entering this year as a pro and with a new head coach in Nurse who likes to run a more up-tempo offense, this might finally be the time for Springer to take a substantial leap into a full-time NBA role. 

This preseason, at least, is proving that he can, and with one more exhibition Friday at home against Atlanta to make a closing argument.

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