Coach Popovich Reveals Plan for Josh Primo After Big Names Return

San Antonio Spurs Joshua Primo
San Antonio Spurs Joshua Primo / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

It was never Coach Popovich's intention to throw Joshua Primo into the fire so early into his career with the San Antonio Spurs, but nothing has been conventional for a while now.

"If I could really do what I wanted to do and I didn't care about anything else in the world, I'd throw him in the frying pan the way we did Tony Parker," Pop said during the Spurs' recent visit to Primo's home country, Canada. Little did he know that would turn into a premonition, as health and safety protocols would soon wipe out nearly half of the roster for multiple games.

Mostly out of necessity, Primo's minutes soared during the Spurs' seven-game road trip and included three starts and a 39-minute outing against the Brooklyn Nets. As a result, fans have been treated to some flashes of brilliance and other flashes of aspects of his game he needs to work on.

Primo's tendency to telegraph passes has led to some unnecessary turnovers and his shooting efficiency hasn't been what we'd hope it will eventually be, but that will all be part of the learning process.

When questioned about if anything will change about Joshua's time on the court when guys like Derrick White, Doug McDermott, and Devin Vassell return, Coach Popovich explained why that process will return to how he's been planning it all along.

Coach Popovich Reveals His Plans for Joshua Primo

"Yeah, he will go to the G League," said Popovich. "He's going to be a hell of a player, but he needs that time to create habits and get a lot of playing time.”

It's been a thrill for fans to see Primo have big moments after turning just 19, such as the game-tying triple he hit to force overtime in Brooklyn.

Still, it makes perfect sense that Popovich wants his teenage guard to get all the reps possible with the Austin Spurs. As Primo himself has said, his time developing there has helped him grow as a player.

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The Austin Spurs are set to begin their season on Friday, January 14th at 8 pm ET on the road against the Oklahoma City Blue. You can view the full schedule, including TV listings, right here.