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Josh Primo shines in his first outing with the Spurs

There is a lot to stir a Spurs fan’s excitement about the young guard.

2021 Salt Lake City Summer League: San Antonio Spurs v Utah Jazz Blue Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

You wouldn’t know it from talking with him after the game, but Josh Primo had a solid start in his first game donning a Spurs jersey. When asked if he was happy with his performance, the young Alabama guard stated, “Not really, I could have done a lot better — keeping down the turnovers taking care of the ball. We just all had to compete. It was a physical game, continue to show a little more heart.”

As any player driven to be the best, Primo was understandably hard on himself. That said, he had a great start for his first game against next level talent.

In what Head Coach Mitch Johnson referred to as “supernatural” passing ability, the youngest member of the 2021 Draft class had to be reminded not to “live and die with every possession.”

Some additional highlights:

  • Primo started strong, hitting his first shot out of the gate — a spot up three.
  • He showed good ball-handling under extensive half-court pressure on his first trip down the court. The Jazz doubled down in the second half and forced a couple of turnovers.
  • Primo showing some of that “supernatural” passing prowess throughout the game. Unfortunately, that was not reflected in the box score as his passing recipients were unable to deliver on the potential assist.
  • Late in the first half, #11 made a great move to the basket with an easy layup. The drive was not, in fact routine, but Primo’s comfort on the floor made it appear so. Definitely alluded to his ability to serve as a floor general and create his own shot off the screen.
  • In the second half, Primo missed a dunk, but it mattered none, as the tenacity to drive to the hoop is what the Spurs are looking for. Finishing at the rim will come with time. His ability to be aggressive in the paint is already there.

Mitch Johnson said “he pushed his pace and tried to be aggressive” while sharing there “good things to think there some good things to settle in on” while being able to make adjustments as he continues to play.

In addition to Josh Primo making his Summer League debut, 2020’s eleventh overall draftee Devin Vassell made his first Summer League appearance.

When asked about his leadership role with this Summer League roster, Vassell shared, “It’s amazing to be able to have this opportunity . . . to be able to run through me is huge.”

Game highlights and takeaways:

  • Vassell had three rebounds before the Spurs even scored. He nabbed eight total for the night.
  • Vassell with a vicious dunk on a fast break reminding everyone that this wasn’t his first rodeo. He led the Spurs with 14 points.
  • Vassell, along with Primo, Wieskamp, and Renfro gave the Spurs a great highlight moving the ball around the horn. All players touched the ball, showing the sort of cohesiveness that will develop on the court as Summer League progresses.
  • Vassell returned in the second half to immediately drew a shooting foul to get the Spurs on the board. Multiple times he got his defender on his back hip and made a move to the basket. He definitely picked up some of his skill in his 62 regular season games.
  • Moments later the second half got underway, Vassell lobbed a long pass to a wide open DaQuan Jeffries on the fast break.
  • Vassell kicked off the final frame picking the pocket of the Jazz’s Patton and ran it all the way down for a two-handed dunk.
  • Fans got a good sample size of leadership from Devin Vassell - pairing resilience with an effort to take more ownership of the playmaking in the fourth quarter.

Other moments of significance:

  • Joe Wieskamp got a chance to show off his dunking game early in the game with a fast break slam.
  • Wieskamp also showcased his ability to hit the open three. The Jazz defense was well aware and stifled him at every opportunity, but his first three of the exhibition series was a clear indication of where he has been and what is to come.
  • Matt Mitchell may not be the first player Spurs fans think of when they hear “former Aztec,” but he lobbed a soft three late in the first quarter to get on the board. He displayed a soft touch on a later two and both free throws. He’s right out of college and went undrafted last month, but he is already showing signs of belonging.

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