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Spurs waive 2021 first-round pick Josh Primo

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Spurs waive 2021 first-round pick Josh Primo
USA Today Network

On Friday, the San Antonio Spurs waived 2021 first-round pick Josh Primo, according to sources. The reason for the guard’s release is unknown at this time.

Spurs CEO R.C. Buford released this statement: “It is our hope that, in the long run, this decision will serve the best interest of both the organization and Joshua.”

According to some NBA betting sites, the Spurs now have the third-lowest odds to win the championship in 2023. A few sportsbooks have dropped their odds of qualifying for the playoffs this season.

Primo was the youngest player of the 2021 NBA Draft. He was selected 12th overall out of Alabama. This roster move came as a shock for Spurs fans and NBA analysts alike. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said it best.

“His on-court development absolutely had the organization excited about his NBA future,” explained Wojnarowski. “Waiving Primo so abruptly without explanation is fairly unprecedented — and jarring.”

Two weeks ago, the Spurs exercised Primo’s $4.34 million team option for the 2023-24 season. This is part of the four-year, $18.42 million rookie scale contract he signed with the team last August.

Four games into the 2022-23 NBA season, the Spurs decide to waive 2021 first-round pick Josh Primo

Following this decision, the Spurs are leaving behind $4.14 million for the 2022-23 season and $4.34 million in dead cap space for the 2023-24 season. Needless to say, the guard had to have done something questionable to warrant this release.

“He’s a talent,” an anonymous NBA executive texted. “Everyone is trying to find out what the hell happened.” Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich declined to issue a statement to the media on Primo.

For right now, everyone is left to play the guessing game.

In 50 appearances of his rookie season, Primo averaged 5.8 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.6 assists. He also shot 37.4% from the field and 30.7% from 3-point range.

On January 4, 2022, in the Spurs’ 129-104 loss against the Toronto Raptors, the rookie scored a career-high 15 points in 28 minutes played off the bench. He finished 6-of-16 shooting overall.

The 19-year-old is now in his sophomore season.

Through four games this season, the guard averaged 7 points, 3.3 boards, and 4.5 assists with the Spurs. Plus, he shot 34.6% from the floor and 25% from downtown.

In losses against the Charlotte Hornets and Minnesota Timberwolves this season, Primo finished with 10 points and 3 rebounds in both appearances.

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James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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