When the Spurs drafted Josh Primo with the 12th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, many fans were skeptical, angrily calling the pick a reach. Despite this, Primo was the youngest player in that draft and showed immense potential in his short time in San Antonio, winning fans over and having many in the city believing he had star potential. To the shock of many, the Spurs made the unfortunate but very necessary decision to release Primo in light of assault allegations by a team doctor, but where does that leave the Spurs and their future plans?
First off, Primo showed a lot of flashes of useful skills at the point guard position, which the Spurs are in need of with Dejounte Murray’s off-season trade to Atlanta. He showed many glimpses of elite ball handling, playmaking, and on-court awareness, but his departure leaves the team with only two point guards left on the roster, Tre Jones and rookie Blake Wesley. On top of that, Blake Wesley tore his MCL in a game on Oct. 30 against Minnesota, leaving a huge hole at the point guard position.
While that may not hurt the Spurs much at the moment because the team isn’t focused on winning, it might turn out to be a big liability of star power in the future. Out of all the players on the team this season, Primo had perhaps the most potential to turn into a star. While Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell have been amazing this season, they’ve probably already developed into near their full potential, leaving the Spurs in dire need of a future star.
The loss of Primo makes it even more necessary for the Spurs to get a high draft pick this season, especially in a draft class that includes some of the most sought-after prospects in recent memory like Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson. So far the Spurs have kept games against good teams close, while losing by just a little bit in the final moments of the game, a trend that if continued will give the team a great chance for a top pick in the upcoming draft. Right now they stand at 6-10, a record that puts them at 13th place in the Western Conference and will ensure them a lottery pick. Despite this, the team will have to fall further down the standings to get one of the best players in the upcoming draft.
Overall, the loss is a scary change of pace for the franchise, but the organization has constantly made the right decisions to put themselves in the best position to be successful. There’s no doubt that the loss of Primo will push the process back on the team’s rebuild, but this season could still be a huge turnaround with potential to get a franchise-changing young player in the draft."What's Next for the Spurs After Primo?",