Houston Rockets: NBA draft prospect to trade up for Jaden Springer
Guard, Tennessee/ Projected: 19th, High: 10th, Low: 27th
If the Rockets draft Jalen Green, as has become increasingly expected, packaging their other two first-round picks to acquire another guard may feel like a misallocation of resources. That’s precisely why Springer is the first guard mentioned in this article. However, he brings a mixture of floor spacing, defense, and hustle that offsets the ball-handling and shot creation provided by Green, Kevin Porter Jr, and, if he’s still in the rotation, John Wall.
We know Coach Silas prefers a spaced-out, pass-heavy offensive attack. We can safely assume he’d be open-minded to three-guard lineups, leaving ample room in the rotation for Springer. In fact, if he provides the defensive punch he demonstrated in Tennessee, he could serve as an instant upgrade over Armoni Brooks in a low-usage, high-impact role.
Beyond this season, there’s a reason we attached a caveat to John Wall’s place in Houston’s rotation. For all his talents, he is obviously not part of the long-term plan in Houston, and there are about 45 million reasons why.
While Springer doesn’t profile as a direct replacement (as an off guard), it feels like Kevin Porter Jr is already being groomed for that role. Springer may be another guard, but he profiles as the type of guard the Rockets may be missing.
If the Rockets do in fact draft Evan Mobley, well, that just makes Springer an even stronger choice for the Rockets.
With three picks in the first round, the Rockets have an opportunity to expedite their post-Harden rebuild no matter how they use those selections. If any of these five prospects are available, they may well be worth two picks for the price of a higher one.