The newly acquired Celtics guard did not expect a deadline trade to Boston.

Boston Celtics guard Jaden Springer had no idea what to anticipate from this season’s NBA trade deadline, but the results were unexpected.


Springer, a former Philadelphia 76ers player, was making his way into head coach Nick Nurse’s backup rotation. Springer was on the right track by pushing defensive matchups against the league’s Stephen Curry and Luka Doncic. That was until Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens took up the phone and called Philadelphia.


“I wasn’t expecting that,” Springer told Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “But I didn’t think about it too much. It happened, and I was fine with moving on to the next thing. I’m in Boston right now, and that’s what I’m really focusing on.”


The Sixers selected Springer in the first round (28th overall) of the 2021 NBA Draft, however the 21-year-old’s position on the team’s depth chart was not favorable. This season, Springer played behind Tyrese Maxey, De’Anthony Melton, and Ricky Council IV, averaging 11.8 minutes in 32 games.

That did not provide an opportunity for Springer to advance, and given Philadelphia’s win-now mentality, there was not space to do so. Following the deadline, the Sixers signed guard Buddy Hield and Kyle Lowry in hopes of keeping Philadelphia competitive until franchise star Joel Embiid returns and is healthy.


Springer remains in a same position with Boston, trailing Derrick White, Jrue Holiday, and Payton Pritchard. However, head coach Joe Mazzulla sees the Tennessee product pitching in.

“I think that if you can get specialist guys who have shown that they can have one skill and do it really, really well, that’s an asset, while also trying to get him better for the long term,” Mazzulla told reporters ahead of Boston’s victory over the Washington Wizards earlier this month, according to CLNS Media. “(I’ve) definitely seen moments of his individual defense and his ability to change a game like that so it’s definitely something we can have on our roster.”


Mazzulla has highlighted the need of exploiting as many strengths as Boston’s roster has to offer, which might benefit Springer in the long run.

Springer faced battle against his previous team for the first time since the trade in Tuesday night’s 117-99 Celtics victory, Boston’s ninth consecutive. With the way the Eastern Conference is shaping out, Springer may cross paths with Philadelphia once more in the playoffs, gaining insight into Boston’s end of the Celtics-Sixers rivalry.

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