Since the shocking release of Joshua Primo, more information has come to light to explain why the San Antonio Spurs made such an abrupt and unprecedented move. According to reports, Primo allegedly exposed himself to multiple women and at least one of those women worked for the Spurs.
Thursday morning, there will be a press conference with one of the accusers. Depending on what else comes to light, the Spurs might be faced with more issues relating to Primo. At the very least, there’s sure to be some off the court drama in the next few days.
In the meantime, let’s focus on how Primo’s release impacts the Spurs on the basketball court.
1) Who is the new Spurs point guard of the future?
Prior to being waived, Primo was talked about as a potential franchise player for the Spurs. A team insider told me two weeks ago that it was only a matter of time before Primo was going to be given an opportunity to be the team’s starting point guard.
Following Primo’s stunning departure, it’s very safe to say that Tre Jones will be the team’s starting point guard for the rest of the season. If he continues to play well and continues to help the Spurs surpass all expectations, that’s a job he could hold onto going into next season.
Head coach Gregg Popovich has been effusive in his praise for Jones, even comparing Jones to Manu Ginobili and Avery Johnson. On the season, he’s averaging 13.0 points, 5.3 assists and 4.0 rebounds.
2) Who will be San Antonio’s backup point guard?
Rookie Blake Wesley, the 25th pick of the 2022 NBA Draft, was the player who was going to take Primo’s spot in the rotation as the team’s backup point guard. Unfortunately, Wesley suffered a sprained MCL in his second NBA game and is expected to miss approximately two months of action.
With Wesley out of commission and Primo gone, the Spurs will likely turn to a committee of players to run the point when Jones is on the bench. Expect to see Josh Richardson and Romeo Langford get expanded ball-handling duties. Additionally, Keldon Johnson is likely to get minutes at point guard.
When Wesley is ready to play again, it’s likely that he’ll regain the backup point guard gig. His early returns in the NBA were very positive. In 23 minutes, Wesley had 16 points and four assists.
3) Will the Spurs bring in another point guard?
It doesn’t look like it. The Spurs re-signed Jordan Hall, a 20-year-old who played for San Antonio in summer league and in the preseason. However, while Hall played some point guard in college, he’s a very raw player and isn’t expected to crack the Spurs rotation.
Instead of bringing in experienced point guard help, it appears as if the Spurs will keep the door open for Langford to continue to get minutes. Considering that Langford is a 23-year-old former lottery pick who has flashed potential — particularly on the defensive end — it looks like a wise decision by the Spurs. Langford will be a restricted free agent this summer so the Spurs could use the rest of the season to figure out whether he’s a long-term piece.
4) Will the Spurs be worse this season without Primo?
Still just 19 years old, Primo was early in his development. He was years away from potentially reaching his promise. For that reason, Primo’s banishment shouldn’t impact how many games the Spurs win this season.
Obviously, losing a player who was considered a potential franchise player is a big blow to the Spurs and their future — but the short-term impact should be minimal.
5) Are there any basketball-related silver linings that could come of this unfortunate situation?
Eliminating Primo from the equation will give Jones an opportunity to be the full-time starting point guard going forward. It’s possible he could blossom in that role and become the franchise’s undisputed point guard of the future.
Wesley and Langford should both get more minutes this season than they would have with Primo on the roster. If Langford does enough to warrant a new contract from the Spurs, that’d be a win for the franchise. Alternatively, if Wesley lives up to his sky-high potential, he could take a leading role on the team as early as next season.