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Brad Stevens Explains Logic Behind Jaden Springer Trade

Brad Stevens

(David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)

Brad Stevens
Brad Stevens shared his insight into why the Celtics traded for Jaden Springer. Check out what Stevens said inside the post. (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)

Brad Stevens Explains Logic Behind Jaden Springer Trade

The Celtics made two trades during the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline. One for Xavier Tillman and another for Jaden Springer. Brad Stevens spoke at length about both trades (link to Tillman here). Will the trade for Springer turn into a steal for the Celtics? Stevens’ comments certainly explain why Boston made the deal for the former Tennessee product.

“Jaden we had talked about several times for several months before that we would have an interest should they have a desire to move him,” Stevens said Friday at the Auerbach Center. “So we’ve had several – I’d say that that stuff over the course of two weeks gets brought up a couple of times, and then you’re just ready to make a decision on trade deadline day. So I wouldn’t say you were sweating over decision-making at that time. It was more, OK, if this happens, we’ll probably do that.”

“I think everybody’s gotta do what they think is best for their organization in that moment at that time,” Stevens said. “I think the other reality is we all have different evaluations of people, and that’s a part of it. I don’t know where they stood or where they stand or how it impacts them. I know what it opens up – all of the stuff that they’ve done – for the next few years. But ultimately, we just have to look at where are we – how can we maybe try to do things that could maybe help us improve by the margins now, but also give us a chance as to hit on guys later that we otherwise can’t get, right?

“In the draft that Springer went in, I think we had the 45th pick, the next year we had the 53rd pick. Again, even this year we had a late first-rounder or whatever that Dallas second becomes, we’re going to be talking guys, in a lot of cases, that are older than the guy that we just traded for that’s a third-year pro. So it’s just how do you best maximize within your group? And I think you have to throw out some of the who’s on the other side and all that stuff and just do what you think is best for your group.”

“We’ve tracked his development pretty closely over the years,” Stevens said. “We liked him in the draft a few years ago. He was the youngest player in that draft. He’s still a puppy. He’s still 21 years old. He was unbelievable in the G-League playoffs last year. He’s done a lot of good things against us when he’s been up in Maine. We’ve seen him live several times up there. He’s a guy we’ve been tracking for a while.”

Springer, 21, was acquired by Boston in exchange for a second round pick sent to Philadelphia. The third-year pro was originally selected by the 76ers with the 28th pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. The Celtics did not have a first round pick in that draft but I still have nightmares that they could have had Alperen Sengun if they never reacquired Al Horford.

Springer was acquired by using the Grant Williams exception. To flip a second round pick for a player that’s still really young, it makes sense long term. Springer is very limited offensively but he’s a dawg defensively. If Springer can develop his offensive game, maybe this will turn into a steal for the C’s. The good news is he won’t be counted on for a while and won’t be a restricted free agent until the Summer of 2025. If not, his $4 million cap hit next season might come in handy in a future trade.

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