On Friday the San Antonio Spurs shocked everyone when they released second-year pro Josh Primo. The 19-year-old was the 12th overall selection in the 2021 NBA draft out of Alabama.
This season Primo was averaging seven points, five assists and four rebounds per game after cracking the Spurs rotation as a regular last season. With the Spurs in rebuild mode, a player like Primo fits the mold of the young talented players head coach Gregg Popovich has accrued on the roster.
But with young players come immaturity, and that seems to be the reason Primo was suddenly released with three years remaining on his four-year, $18.4 million rookie deal. Primo allegedly exposed himself to women on several occasions, indiscretions the teenager describes as the result of “previous trauma” he has suffered.
On Friday following the release, Primo attributed it to mental health issues that he as seeking help for.
“I know that you all are surprised by today’s announcement. I’ve been seeking help to deal with previous trauma I suffered and will now take this time to focus on my mental health treatment more fully. I hope to be able to discuss these issues in the future so I can help others who have suffered in a similar way. I appreciate privacy at this time.”
Josh Primo was the youngest player in the 2021 NBA Draft when selected 12th to the Spurs. His on-court development absolutely had the organization excited about his NBA future. Waiving Primo so abruptly without explanation is fairly unprecedented — and jarring.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 28, 2022
It’s hard to determine the mental health issues Primo is said to be suffering from with this new development of his release now being national news.
Spurs CEO R.C. Buford had this to say about the situation:
“It is our hope that, in the long run, this decision will serve the best interest of the organization and Joshua.”
Primo’s Alleged Situation Is The First Of Its Kind In The NBA
To hear Primo is going around allegedly exposing himself is something that the NBA has never experienced before. The league’s players have been accused of myriad offenses over the years, but indecent exposure or “flashing,” as some call it, isn’t a common infraction. While there have been sexual misconduct and harassment allegations, Primo’s violation of ethics is a first. And to think he reportedly did it more than once, as reports state, he had “several instances” of exposing himself to women, which of course is a really bad look for the young guard.
A Spurs organization that has seen a culture that was once the blueprint for NBA success deteriorate, doesn’t have time to deal with Primo’s issues right now.
Now Primo’s NBA future is up in the air as teams will want to know more about the alleged incidents and why would he do something of that nature. They’ll need to know that prior to him possibly joining another NBA team.
Any team signing him will also have to surely provide him with some psychological therapy to deal with the “trauma” he has admitted to experiencing.
Joshua Primo has been waived by the Spurs
— Matthew Tynan (@Matthew_Tynan) October 28, 2022
Spurs Are In Unfamiliar Territory
After a run of nearly 20 seasons with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard leading the way, the team is in transition with an aging coach in Gregg Popovich. Gone are the days of the five NBA championships and consistent 50-win seasons that happened throughout Duncan’s career.
The Spurs announce they have waived Josh Primo
Primo was selected by San Antonio with the No. 12 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft pic.twitter.com/EJplFBRE6c
— NBA TV (@NBATV) October 28, 2022
This is just one of the new challenges that Popovich has had to deal with in the post-Tim Duncan Era. Since Kawhi Leonard forced his way out, life has been rough in “The Alamo.”