2021 NBA Draft: Mock 2.0, star power, trades, big risers

Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs, Knicks, NBA Draft.(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs, Knicks, NBA Draft.(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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NBA Draft
Jared Springer, NBA Draft. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports /

149. . G. Oklahoma City Thunder. Jaden Springer. 23. player

2021 NBA Mock Draft 2.0: Oklahoma City Thunder get an elite defender in Jaden Springer

After trading down with the Houston Rockets, the Oklahoma City Thunder select Jaden Springer, a player I’ve seen as a top-15 prospect on more than a few draft boards.

This team has so many interesting prospects already in their system, and Springer gives them a tenacious backcourt defender who could be a really nice swiss-army-knife off the bench.

NBA Draft- Jared Springer NBA player comparisons

  • 6’4 Eric Bledsoe
  • Avery Bradley – On-ball, off-ball, all-around perimeter defender
  • Jerryd Bayless

Once you get into the mid lottery, the quantity of potential guards is massive. So teams picking in the 20s are likely going to get some fantastic guard prospects.

Springer started 15 of 25 games as a freshman at Tennessee and he hasn’t turned 19 yet. There is going to be a lot of fascination with what his ceiling could be in the NBA.

Springer has some point guard chops. He’s a heat-seeking missile going to the rim and is capable of making nice kick-out reads.

He’s not a terrific vertical athlete but he has nice straight-line speed and shiftiness. Not only is he quick with good size, but he’s also a solid catch and shooter.

Springer shot 44% from 3 and over 80% from the free throw line. He struggled a lot on pull-up shots, but if he’s being used as a secondary ball-handler, I can see him becoming a strong catch-and-shoot player in the league. I regret focusing too much on pull-up shooting numbers from Tyrese Haliburton last year (lessons learned).

Now, I would say Jaden Springer’s bag is around the size of a Louis V coin purse.

He has work to do with his dribbling which may take lead-guard out of the equation for the first few years of his career, but we’re talking about a potential fantastic 2-way guard. Those don’t grow on trees.

Springer is hyper-aware, an extreme hustler, and a nice blend of strength and quickness as a defender. He’s going to find a role for himself as a perimeter defender right away.

The Oklahoma City Thunder backcourt is oozing with talent.