Mississauga’s Josh Primo becomes first-round pick of NBA’s San Antonio Spurs

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Published July 30, 2021 at 1:38 am

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Mississauga native Josh Primo will be the youngest player in the NBA next season — with the San Antonio Spurs.

The Spurs, one of the league’s most regal franchises with five championships in the last quarter-century, selected the 18-year-old Primo with the No. 12 overall choice in the league’s draft on Thursday. Primo, a six-foot-six guard who was a freshman in the NCAA’s Southeastern Conference (SEC) last year with the Alabama Crimson Tide, was the first Canadian player to hear his name called at the draft.

Primo, who will not turn 19 until after the start of the 2021-22 NBA season, was an SEC all-freshman first-team selection last season after averaging 8.1 points and 3.4 rebounds per game and shooting 38.1 per cent on three-point attempts last season. He was the youngest player in all of NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball. 

The Spurs have an established history of developing talent internally. Notable NBA stars such as Manu Ginobili (No. 57 overall in 1999), Tony Parker (No. 28 overall, 2001) and Kawhi Leonard (No. 15 overall in 2011, acquired in a draft-night trade) blossomed with the Spurs are being taken outside of the first 10 selections.

Primo’s draft stock rose this spring after a strong showing at the NBA combine. That convinced him to sign with an agent and keep his name in the draft, rather than return to Alabama.

Prior to Alabama, Primo was one of six Canadians selected to the Basketball Without Borders Global Camp held during the 2020 NBA all-star weekend in Chicago. He also represented Canada at the world under-19 men’s championship in 2019, even though he was just 16 years old at the time. He attended high school at Oakwood Collegiate in Toronto.

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