SLAM x Panini Rookie Spotlight: Spurs’ Josh Primo

SLAM x Panini Rookie Spotlight: Spurs’ Josh Primo

With the 12th choose within the 2021 NBA Draft, the San Antonio Spurs choose… Joshua Primo.

Joshua Primo?

The 18-year-old child from Alabama?

The one who averaged simply 8.1 factors per recreation?

No one—not even the “experts”—noticed it coming. Primo was projected as a late first rounder. Spurs followers had been confused. Many had been offended. Many extra had been important. You can simply learn the responses to the tweet under

Spurs common supervisor Brian Wright instructed the media that his group was on the lookout for the prospect with the “best potential long-term ceiling.” Primo was the youngest participant within the draft. Plus, San Antonio sought so as to add one other versatile wing to their creating core. Key phrase: creating.

This was a choose in regards to the future. The distant future. Primo would want time to develop—the entrance workplace understood that. But that was simply tremendous. The Spurs, as Wright alluded to, had been in no rush.

“Josh’s development timeline will be Josh’s development timeline. I think what we’re focused on is ultimately the type of person he is, the work that he’ll put in to continue to improve his craft and how he’ll impact our team long-term, so there’s no pressure from us,” he mentioned, through “The pressure that he puts on himself is the pressure that he would consistently put on himself to be good. He wouldn’t be in this position if he didn’t push himself to work hard and improve. Again, he was a high school senior playing starter-level minutes in the SEC, so we do think there’s big upside there and he’s going to continue to improve once we get him into the program.”

Well, he’s been in this system for 9 months now, and the 6-4 guard has actually continued to enhance. He has spent important time with the Austin Spurs, the Spurs’ G League affiliate, and been spectacular as one among their major playmakers. This season, Primo has averaged 16.7 factors (on 38.7 % taking pictures from the sphere and 42.1 % from three), 5.9 assists and 1.6 steals. At the G League Winter Showcase in Las Vegas, he helped lead the Toros to a victory over the highly-touted Ignite group, which options a number of future lottery picks (as Jonathan Tjarks identified in this story for The Ringer, Primo is definitely youthful than Jaden Hardy and MarJon Beauchamp, who’re each projected as first-rounders within the 2022 Draft). Primo completed with 23 factors, 6 rebounds and 4 assists within the win.

The rookie seems comfy dealing with the ball and working out of pick-and-rolls. He has good dimension for a guard, which permits him to complete on the rim on one finish and guard a number of positions on the opposite. He spreads the ground as a fringe menace and hits pull-up jumpers off-the-dribble. 

Throughout March, he stepped into a much bigger function in Coach Popovich’s rotation. He averaged 6.6 factors on 39 % taking pictures amid a latest four-game profitable streak (a essential one which put the Spurs within the play-in event). Coaches have praised Primo’s composure, fearlessness and professionalism, particularly for somebody his age.

“Joshua has an uncanny maturity about him—kind of a steady demeanor,” Popovich instructed reporters in January, after Primo put up 15 factors, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in opposition to the Raptors. “He’s not awed by the NBA or something like that. He makes good choices. He positively is aware of the best way to play. He understands the sport. It’s only a matter of getting stronger and extra conscious that these are males they usually’re coming after your head, so to talk. Just to get used to that physicality and all these type of issues.

“He’s not afraid to shoot it. He makes good decisions. He’s a good passer,” Pop added. “He’s got some innate ways about him that let you know that he understands what’s going on. He’s already pretty good at pick-and-roll, for instance. Sometimes it takes a player a couple of years to figure that out. So I think it’s a maturity thing and I want to make sure he feels comfortable and he’s not overwhelmed. He’s a respectful, quiet kid so it’s going to take some time to pull some stuff out of him, but he’s been wonderful.”

It might take a while, however that’s not an issue. The Spurs will keep affected person. Primo is simply 19 years previous, and simply retains getting higher. 

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