San Antonio Spurs Draft

Spurs: How Primo affects the team's 2022 NBA Draft strategy

Joshua Primo
Joshua Primo / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
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San Antonio Spurs
Josh Primo / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages

The San Antonio Spurs will prioritize versatility in the 2022 Draft

What made the Spurs' selection of Primo even more of a shock this past July was that it came in a stacked draft class. Two of the Spurs' top draft prospects in Kai Jones and Alperen Sengun were both still on the draft board at the 12th pick, but the team still opted for Primo. Outside of intangibles (like Primo's desire to be in San Antonio, for example), I think this can be attributed to his two-way versatility on the court.

To make a condensed summary of all three players above, Jones can be classified as an uber-athletic, albeit very raw stretch big. Sengun, on the other hand, is an incredibly skilled big that can shoot from deep, pass, and rebound at a high level, but his athleticism is mediocre at best. In terms of the balance between skill and athleticism, Primo was advertised as lying somewhere in the middle.

Regardless of whether or not that analysis of him was true, finding young do-it-all type players in the draft should be seen as a good thing rather than being seen as taking a chance on a player without an "elite" quality. While Kai Jones may be an elite athlete, his jump shot is inconsistent and his basketball IQ is very much a work in progress. While Sengun is incredibly skilled on both ends of the floor, his size and lack of athleticism may ultimately limit his upside on defense.

Primo, on the other hand, can do a bit of everything. He's already the size of an NBA wing and is athletic enough to be reasonably switchable on defense. On offense, he's shown flashes of three-level scoring (including off the dribble), has a natural inclination to make plays for others, and has a surprisingly high basketball IQ for someone of his age.

Seeing that Devin Vassell has very similar qualities, I think the direction the Spurs are going in is becoming increasingly clear. Regardless of position, I think that Primo's selection indicates that the Spurs value two-way players that have a promising long-term trajectory. I expect that the Spurs' draft picks in 2022 will more or less fit the same mold.

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