2021 NBA Draft: Spurs make surprise pick of lottery by taking Joshua Primo No. 12, draft’s youngest prospect

In what was arguably the shock of the primary spherical of the 2021 NBA Draft, the San Antonio Spurs chosen Alabama guard Joshua Primo with the No. 12 general choose. 

At simply 18 years outdated, Primo was the youngest prospect within the draft, and he would be the youngest participant within the NBA subsequent season. He enters the league after only a single season at Alabama the place he began 19 video games for the Crimson Tide and averaged 8.1 factors and three.4 rebounds in 22.5 minutes per efficiency. He additionally shot 43 p.c from the ground and 38 p.c from lengthy vary. 

Regardless of his apparent potential, most mock drafts had Primo going late within the first spherical, or early within the second spherical. The final mock draft from CBS Sports activities’ Kyle Boone had Primo going to the New York Knicks with the second choose within the second spherical. This is what Boone needed to say: 

Knicks go youth right here and seize Joshua Primo, the youngest prospect within the draft, who at 18 years outdated can actually stroke it from deep and who made a powerful impression on the draft mix together with his skill to deal with the ball and create off the bounce.  

As Boone referenced, Primo used a stable displaying on the mix to propel himself up draft boards, and in the end all the best way into the lottery. 

“I feel what folks had been in a position to see was that for me being so younger, I used to be in a position to talk with my teammates very well, be a pacesetter on the market on the ground, present a little bit little bit of my playmaking abilities and with the ability to defend,” Primo said of his mix efficiency forward of the draft. “I feel throughout the board, simply going on the market and displaying I can compete at a excessive degree. There’s an actual aggressive spirit inside me and I used to be in a position to present that effectively.”  

Previous to the mix, Primo wasn’t certain if he was going to proceed towards the draft or return to Alabama for a second season. Finally although, the possibility to get expertise on the highest degree at his age was too good of a possibility to move up. Actually, the younger guard thinks that he might be higher sooner or later due to it. 

“The most effective half about it’s realizing that I’ll be taught a lot at this age that I am at proper now,” Primo stated. “Having the ability to come into the league and be taught these issues first hand that I may not have realized going again an additional 12 months. I do know that at 21 or 22, I’ll be rather a lot higher off for this. I will have that rather more information.”  

Regardless of his age, Primo thinks he’ll slot in effectively in an NBA the place conventional positions have turn into more and more fluid. Plus, at 6’6″, his dimension ought to assist him transition to skilled play. “I feel this recreation has turn into roughly positionless,” Primo stated. “I will play one by way of three and defend these positions as effectively. I feel I will be capable of match effectively on this positionless league.”

So, what are Primo’s objectives for his rookie season? 

“I need the crew that I am on to have achieved the objectives that they set out,” Primo stated. “Second, being some of the influential rookies, a man that impacts the sport from the beginning. Being that man with the power all 12 months that was in a position to assist his crew achieve success by way of what he is in a position to do. I feel I am a really mental participant, somebody who can learn defenses effectively, offenses effectively, and adapt in a short time. Having the ability to adapt to no matter scenario I am in. I will mildew myself into something I have to be.” 

It stays to be seen how a lot Primo will be capable of contribute to the Spurs, who missed the postseason in every of the final two years, within the quick time period. In the event that they totally decide to a rebuild, his on-court alternative will seemingly improve. If not, his taking part in time will most likely be extra spotty. His upside is apparent although, and with the Spurs, a crew that has a historical past of fantastic participant growth, he ought to have a possibility to appreciate his potential. 

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