Neither Jaden Springer or Keon Johnson lasted very long in Knoxville, but that was all according to plan. Tonight both players have heard their name called in the 2021 NBA Draft, with both coming off of the board in the first round.
Springer was selected 28th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers.
The 6-4, 200 pound guard led Tennessee in scoring last season, averaging 12.5 points per game. He shot an ultra-efficient 43 percent from three-point range, although that sample size isn’t particularly large. Springer spent time both at the 2 and 1 spot for Tennessee, quickly developing into the Vols’ best option at point guard. The former five-star prospect made his mark with Tennessee as a physical finisher and a motivated defender.
Our own Nick Carner took a deep dive into Springer’s game in his draft profile.
“Springer looks like the blueprint for the modern NBA 3&D mold,” Carner said. “Young, two-way players with some inherent playmaking ability? That’s a winning combination for teams later in the lottery that are typically just a few pieces away from actual contention within the conference.”
Springer now enters an uncertain situation with Ben Simmons trade rumors swirling. With his polish and upside at the point and 2-guard spot, he could factor immediately into Philly’s plans going forward.
Springer joins former Tennessee Volunteer Tobias Harris in Philadelphia.
Keon and Jaden become the second ever duo of Vols to go in the first round of the same draft since 1977 — the Ernie and Bernie draft.