2021 NBA Draft mock #21: New York Knicks (via Dallas Mavericks): Jaden Springer
The Knicks selected Cameron Thomas with the 19th overall pick in this mock draft. They acquired this choice from the Dallas Mavericks in the Kristaps Porzingis trade. New York has three point guards heading into free agency. The Knicks could potentially lose Derrick Rose, Elfrid Payton, and Frank Ntilikina this summer. That opens the door for them to select two point guards in the first round.
Springer averaged 12.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.2 steals in 25.9 minutes per game during his lone season at Tennessee. He shot 46.7 percent from the field, 43.5 percent on his threes, and 81.0 percent from the free-throw line. The 18-year-old will need time to develop, but he could be a starting guard in the NBA at his peak.
Springer is not a volume shooter, but he was 20 of 46 from 3-point range this season. His next team will try to maximize that skill. Springer being able to play on or off the ball will help him reach his ceiling.
Springer measured at 6’4 with a 6’7 wingspan at the combine. He competes hard on both ends of the floor but does not jump out of the gym. Springer can handle the ball and make plays. The Knicks will attempt to groom him into a starting point guard. His defense should improve under coach Tom Thibodeau too.
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