The Smoking Cuban

2021 NBA Draft mock 1.0: Predicting the entire first round

2021 NBA Draft Cade Cunningham
Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
2021 NBA Draft Cade Cunningham Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
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NBA Draft
NBA Draft Jaden Springer Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

2021 NBA Draft mock #21: Los Angeles Lakers: Jaden Springer

The Lakers need more ball-handlers on their roster. Dennis Schroder has been a fantastic addition this season, but fans have seen their offense stagnate during the recent stretch where both he and LeBron James were on the shelf. Expect them to be searching for a point guard this offseason.

Springer showed plenty of flashes in his lone season at Tennessee. He averaged 12.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.2 steals per game in 25.9 minutes per game. The 18-year-old was an efficient 46.7 percent from the field, 43.5 percent on his threes, and 81.0 percent from the free-throw line.

Springer is not the most explosive athlete, but he competes hard on the defensive end. He is listed at 6’4 and 204 pounds. The Lakers won the championship in 2020 with a defensive mentality. The 18-year-old looks like he would fit into that scheme just fine.

Jaden Springer will slide down draft boards because of his lack of athleticism. He is not the flashiest player in the 2021 NBA Draft class, but expect him to make an impact as a ball-handler, playmaker, and shooter. The Los Angeles Lakers would be happy to take him in the early-20s.

Next: No. 22

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