A little over a year ago, there was a lot of confusion about the Spurs’ decision to take a relatively unknown player with the 12th overall pick, and he was “another guard” at that. His name was Josh Primo, the youngest player in the draft coming off a solid but unspectacular season at the University of Alabama. Some of the skepticism was alleviated when he showed some flashes in the preseason and early in the regular season, but soon Primo was just another rookie playing in Austin, and even when he did get some NBA time out of necessity, he looked like the youngest player in the league at times.
Fast forward a year, and the now 19-year-old looks much more like an NBA player. He has bulked up, possibly grown an inch or so, and for at least one game — admittedly a preseason one against a likely fellow cellar-dweller in the Oklahoma City Thunder — looked comfortable carrying an offense. He showed a little of everything, from creating for himself and others, on the way to 23 points on 8-12 shooting (1-4 from three) and 4 assists.
Assuming Gregg Popovich will stick with his desired preseason starting line-up of Tre Jones, Devin Vassell, Keldon Johnson, Jeremy Sochan and Jakob Poeltl, Primo will likely take on a role of sixth man, and that could be a good thing for his development. It would place the ball in his hands more and give him freedom to keep working on his ball-handling, distribution, and shot creation skills without much pressure. With the Spurs in full rebuild mode, there’s no better time like the presence.