Philadelphia 76ers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey had a downright shocking admission about why he traded Jaden Springer to the Boston Celtics at the NBA's February 8 trade deadline: he valued a future second-round pick more.
“We had to look at, what are the odds Jaden Springer — who I think has a great future — helps our playoff rotation in the one, two, three-year horizon,” Morey said, via Sam DiGiovanni (h/t MassLive). “And what are the odds a second-round pick helps us? And we thought the second-round pick helped us more. And that’s just the reality, it allows us to maybe get a veteran at next year’s deadline, things like that.
“We did it. It sucks. Jaden’s going to be really good, I think. I think his timetable is a little pushed out, though. Our evaluation was that his timetable to help a playoff team is farther than what the second-round pick can do for us.”
Jaden Springer has ultimate motivation to succeed with Boston Celtics
I suppose it's not hard to see why James Harden and Patrick Beverley don't hold Morey in the highest regard. Morey's comments about Springer were belittling, but also potentially motivating for the former Tennessee Volunteer.
Springer was brought on not to be a game-changer, but to make the Celtics bench feel less temporary. Dalano Banton, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Lamar Stevens, and Luke Kornet felt like a make-it-or-leave bunch, and half of that group is now elsewhere post-deadline. Springer and fellow newcomer Xavier Tillman could fill in the holes defensively; and for more than just the rest of the 2023-24 season to boot.
With Morey opening pandora's box with a bulletin board material-type potshot, it's on Springer to show the world that, though his previous team didn't value him, he's now in the perfect place for his career to take off.
And if it doesn't, you best believe Brad Stevens wouldn't say anything like this.