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Jaden Springer is finding his way on the Delaware Blue Coats

The late first-round pick continues to develop at the G League level.

NBA: Preseason-Brooklyn Nets at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Most people haven’t gotten a chance to see the Sixers’ newest draft pick Jaden Springer in action, as he’s been developing with the Sixers’ G League affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats. The Blue Coats have had a dominant start to their season, even winning the G League’s Winter Showcase Cup. Much like the Blue Coats, Springer has found success early on in the season and has only built on it over the past few games.

The 28th pick in last year’s draft has put together a solid start to his professional career. In the first half of the G League season (which determined seeding for the Winter Showcase Cup), Springer managed to score in double digits in six out of his first ten games. He mostly played off the ball as a shooting guard with Shaq Harrison running point.

Springer’s G League season got put on a temporary pause then, however, as the league took a break due to COVID-19 concerns.

The Blue Coats, along with the rest of the G League, have since returned from their short hiatus. Jaden Springer has managed to play some of his best basketball yet over the last three games. He’s looked more comfortable and confident than ever, and the stats certainly back that up:

Like Joel Embiid at the NBA level, Springer now has his own active scoring streak. He has yet to have a G League game in 2022 where he scores under 20 points. These aren’t inflated numbers either, as he’s shooting the ball with great efficiency from the field at 56 percent.

A big part of Jaden Springer’s development will be how consistently he can hit the three-ball. He’s beginning to show some mid-season improvement in this area. After only shooting 30.7 percent (12-39) from beyond the arc in the Winter Showcase Cup-placing games at the beginning of the year, he has managed to shoot the ball at a much better clip as of late (35.7% in the past three games). While that’s still a bit lower than some might like, it’s great to see some positive progression that Springer can hopefully build upon. You can tell this is an area of emphasis for his development, as he shot 14 threes over this three-game period for an average of 4.7 attempts per game — more than double his average of 1.8 attempts in his only season at Tennessee.

It’s great to see Springer finding some good consistency offensively, but I’d be selling his progress short if I didn’t also mention the defensive end of the ball — where he’s really showed out. He’s already logged four games registering five steals and has shown to be one of the best perimeter defenders in the G League right now. While Springer is a gifted physical athlete, he’s shown some good tendencies on the defensive side of the ball, where he’s a threat defending anyone on or off of the ball. He has great pass anticipation and active hands.

It’s to the point where it’s strange if Jaden Springer doesn’t register a steal. He’s nearly averaged as many steals as he has total turnovers on the season, 30 steals compared to 35 turnovers.

Jaden Springer has started this new year off on a much more aggressive note, as he’s averaging double-digit shot attempts in his first three games. He’s playing with more confidence than ever, and has shown signs of development midseason. He’s beginning to seek out his own shots and has become a reliable creator around the rim and in the midrange.

Jaden Springer’s mid-range game gives me a lot of confidence that his three-point shot will come around in due time. He’s basically automatic from that area, and is very comfortable operating within it.

The Delaware Blue Coats have been one of the hottest teams in the G League, as they have talent up and down the roster. They’ve proven that they can win big, and will likely be a competitive team when the playoffs roll around in a few months’ time. You should be tuned into them if you aren’t already, as Jaden Springer is beginning to find his way at a professional level. Springer and the Blue Coats play their next game tomorrow, January 22, against the Hornets’ G League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm.

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