San Antonio Spurs News

Spurs: Addressing 5 Unanswered Questions Through 1st Quarter of Season

Gregg Popovich, Keldon Johnson, Dejounte Murray, Derrick White
Gregg Popovich, Keldon Johnson, Dejounte Murray, Derrick White / Jonathan Daniel/GettyImages
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San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio Spurs Joshua Primo / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

4. Will Gregg Popovich pull a 'Keldon Johnson' with Joshua Primo?

Keldon Johnson was inactive for the first 15 games of his NBA career as a rookie, instead spending time refining his game with the Austin Spurs. In fact, through 55 regular season games, he only played a total of about 12 minutes across four games played.

As frustrated as many are at the lack of Joshua Primo playing time despite how NBA-ready he already looks, he's already on a quicker trajectory toward playing regularly than Johnson was in 2019. Keldon didn't play double-figure minutes in a game until game 56 of his rookie season while Primo logged 12 minutes in game 19 and 18 in game 22.

After an impressive showing against the Phoenix Suns in which he recorded a game-high four blocks, Primo mentioned how his development in Austin is paying dividends in the NBA. I wouldn't expect him to become a regular rotation player that soon, especially with Devin Vassell's return on the horizon, but there is precedent for that happening sooner than expected, as it did with Johnson.