Ten Facts About The San Antonio Spurs 12th Overall Pick
Hey everybody and welcome to another video. Today we are going to go over 10 facts that you never knew before about the San Antonio Spurs 12th overall draft pick, Joshua Primo. Make sure you stick around until the end of the video to find out how analysts felt about the Spurs selection!
Number ten. Josh Primo ended up playing for the Canadian men’s basketball national team back in 2019. He joined them as part of the FIBA U19 World Cup that was located in Crete, Greece. This is even more shocking when you find out that Primo was just 16 years old at the time of this competition and yet was able to hold his own against players a couple of years older than he was. He only got about 11 minutes per game throughout the tournament, and he averaged just 4.2 points per game, but he did have a nice eight point, three assists showing against Senegal. That matchup was in the Round of 16. Canada didn’t really get much farther than that though as they finished the competition in eighth place. As you probably could have guessed, the United States ended up winning that competition handily.
Number nine. He used to be teammates with JT Thor. JT Thor was another player selected in the 2021 NBA Draft, going to the Charlotte Hornets. However, not many people know that he and Primo shared the same roster at one point. They both attended Huntington Prep over in, you guessed it, Huntington, West Virginia during the 2018 season. Although the combination didn’t last very long as both Thor and Primo left the club to go elsewhere. Thor went to attend Norcross high school in Georgia while Primo rolled with Royal Crown Academic School in Scarborough, Ontario. That Huntington Prep Basketball Program also happened to shut down completely just a year after that as well. They didn’t close down without leaving some good reviews for Primo and Thor though. Arkell Bruce, the former head coach of their basketball team, praised Primo pretty heavily, saying that he was a versatile, athletic, slender player that could shoot the ball at a high level.
Number eight. Talent seems to run in the family. Primo’s sister, Keshia, played college basketball herself. Keshia played for the Buffalo Bulls women’s basketball team back in the 2008 season. She held onto the number one for her jersey number and was unfortunately apart of a losing season. The team went just 8-24 overall and were a disappointing 2-14 against opponents in the Mid-American Conference. She left the team after that one season and played for Coffeyville Community College for a year. There was some decent success there which opened up opportunities to move forward. Keshia jumped into Division II Southern Connecticut State University and joined the women’s basketball team for three full seasons. From the years 2010 all the way to 2014, with the latter being her best year. She held yearly averages of 13.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists and two steals per game in 22 contests. It would enough to get her into the 2014 Northeast 10 Conference Honorable Mention Team. Which now that I am saying it out loud doesn’t sound as good as it looks.
Number seven. Primo sadly lost his mother at an early age. His mother Sandra defined what it is like to be a fighter as she battled an illness. She lost her life on November 26th, 2012, and it devastated the rest of her family. Primo, his sister and his father have continued to live on in her honor and take every moment that they can in order to cherish her and remember her. Earlier in the year, Primo scored 12 points in a victory over Kentucky on January 12th, he then tweeted out “12 points on the 12th day…Happy Birthday mom. I love you forever.” Losing a loved one is never easy, and my thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family still.
Number six. Primo had to reclassify to the 2020 class so that he could graduate early from high school. It was an interesting move, one that had NBA teams questioning whether or not to draft him due to how young he was just a couple months ago. However, it didn’t matter one bit. Not only did the San Antonito Spurs still draft him with the 12th overall selection in the first round, but they did so confidently. Some players could do something like this and have trouble keeping up with older competition, though it didn’t affect him at all. Primo was a five-star recruit by 247Sports and had a number of collegiate offers, including Alabama and Creighton. Ultimately, Primo went with Alabama and turned down Creighton, a decision that probably helped him out in the long run. This was the reason that he was one of the youngest college basketball players in history.
Number five. He only spent one season at Alabama but was pretty good. During that freshmen season, he averaged 8.1 points and 3.4 rebounds and was named to the Southeastern Conference All-Freshmen Team. He even had to miss three games due to a left medial collateral ligament sprain that he suffered in the middle of their season. He declared for the draft pretty early, April 21st to be exact. Some thought that it was a mistake, because it could look as though he wasn’t prepared at all for the big stage. I mean, he graduated early from high school and only spent one year with Alabama. He is only 18 years old but wanted to see what he could do at the NBA Combine. Which, by the way, he performed incredibly well and got a lot of scouts interesting in what he could do on the basketball court. Josh felt that he impressed enough people to get drafted even if it was in the second round so, he opted not to withdraw his name from the draft list. Be sure to stick around until the end of the video to find out why Primo was graded so low for his draft position!
Number four. He had some comparisons to Malik Beasley, Gary Trent Jr and Derrick White coming into the draft. As a matter of fact, I saw one scout even compare him to Devin Booker a couple of weeks prior to draft day. Josh Primo has the work ethic that you would want out of a very young player who doesn’t have much experience to work with. He doesn’t have the best handles in the world, nor does he have insane playmaking abilities, but he does thrive in a scoring role. The catch and shoot game are definitely there and could be a secondary playmaker for a contending team. These are all reasons as to why he was compared to those players. Malik Beasley was drafted at a young age and had all the talent in the world, he just couldn’t grasp the defensive rotations that the Denver Nuggets were trying to run due to inexperience which caused his exit. Will Barton is a similar player on the same team and Gary Trent is one of those fantastic catch and shoot young guys that always puts his heart into the game. Booker is a far better player and could be Primo’s ceiling to be honest, but Devin played the secondary ball handler roll with Chris Paul alongside him in the backcourt. Primo would be just like that if he is able to develop the way that people expect.
Number three. His scoring has been blanketed in recent years. I mentioned before that he thrives in a scoring role and that may not sound correct when you look at his 8.1 points per game average at Alabama. However, he ended up being the fourth option on that Alabama squad offensively. It didn’t matter how good he was or how good he could be during that freshmen season. Jaden Shackelford, senior John Petty and the redshirt sophomore Jahvon Quinerly were already established guards when Primo joined the rotation and it was incredibly hard for him to create good shot opportunities without it being too forced. Luckily, the team was able to have a decent amount of success so that more NBA scouts got to check him out as the season progressed, but Alabama didn’t really use him to the best of their abilities. I would look out for Primo offensively in the next couple of years as he could really thrive in a bigger role with a team that desperately needs more scorers.
Number two. Joshua Primo is a more than capable perimeter defense, despite his smaller frame. The strength isn’t what NBA teams were hoping it to be, but he does sit at six foot five with a six-foot nine wingspan. That length gives him the ability to guard multiple positions on the floor and his quickness helps him keep up with smaller guards. He always closes off the driving lanes well and tries to keep his feet moving at all times, which he often does successfully. Though probably the best part of his defensive game is that he just doesn’t foul that often. Teams are always stressing the importance of defending without fouling and Primo displays that brilliantly. During that college season, he played 674 total minutes of action, in that time he picked up just 50 fouls. That is absolutely insane for a guard that normally defends the player with the basketball. Although, Primo has been great off the ball on defense also. He has no stamina issues and can run around with players and is lanky enough to slip through screen after screen. That is something that is wildly valuable nowadays with teams loving off ball screens in order to get free three-point shots.
Number one. The San Antonio Spurs were bashed for their selection of Primo even though he has tremendous upside. Obviously, when you are the youngest player in the draft by far with limited playing time on a decent team, NBA squads don’t really look at you that early in the first round. Although the Spurs just didn’t want to wait before selecting Primo. Joshua himself said this after he found out he was going to San Antonio, “Going that high wasn’t something that I was – I don’t know if I was ready for that. I didn’t realize it was going to be that high. But I’m glad it’s with the Spurs.” He later said that San Antonio was exactly the place that he wanted to be right when he left the combine and it perfectly worked out for him. Experts didn’t feel like the fit was that good though. Three experts over at CBS Sports all kept Primo out of their first round in mock drafts. Nobody expected him to go that early at all. One of those experts, Gary Parrish, gave the draft pick a C+ grade. That grade was actually tied for his worst in the first round out of all 30 selections. This is what Parrish had to say regarding the selection under the grade, “This is the biggest reach of the draft so far. But Primo is only 18, and he is a shooter. Even so, I’d probably go a lower grade if this were a different franchise than San Antonio. He simply has not had the track record of other prospects still available in terms of his production in college.” I would say this was pretty harsh but then again, the Spurs know more about this kid than we do when it comes to basketball. We are all going to have to just sit back and remember where he is, the Spurs are an excellent franchise with great player development, I think the pick was surprising but worth it.
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