San Antonio Spurs guard Josh Primo had himself a spectacular game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in their most recent preseason matchup, posting a stat line of 23 points, 4 assists, 1 assist, and 1 block in just under 25 minutes of action. For it only being his second game back from injury, it was hard to ask much more of the still 19-year-old.
Fans--including me--are optimistic that Primo can be an important piece of the team for years to come, and recent rumors suggest that the Spurs' top brass is just as hopeful that he can turn into a franchise player. And if the special treatment that Primo has been getting behind the scenes is any indicator of how true those rumors are, then fans should be getting excited.
Josh Primo has the intangibles that will set him up for success
Are we certain that this means Primo is on a Kawhi Leonard-like trajectory in his development? We won't eliminate the possibility entirely, but we won't exactly be holding our breath either. Even Matthew Tynan himself notes that this shouldn't be seen as a comparison to Leonard, and rightfully so. Rather, why we think this should make fans happy is two-fold: at the very least, this proves that (1) the Spurs see something in Primo that warrants special treatment like this, and (2) Primo has the drive and willingness to go the extra mile after practice.
A player's work ethic, and positive character traits in general, often go undervalued by the masses during the draft cycle, but the Spurs are known to target players who show traits like an unwavering work ethic. The most recent and obvious example of that strategy paying off is undoubtedly Dejounte Murray.
Primo stated on his draft night that he always wanted to be a Spur, and knowing the kind of players that have come before him in San Antonio, he's likely well aware of the expectations that many have for him by now. Rather than being complacent after being selected in the lottery, however, he's showing that he understands what it will take to become the team's next big thing. And even if many of us already knew that about Primo, being reminded of that early in his most pivotal season is very encouraging.
We try not to overvalue preseason performances--both good and bad--but there is plenty to be excited about in the 2022-'23 season even in the midst of a rebuild. Expect good or even great things to come from Josh Primo, the newest Spurs rookies to get more playing time that we're accustomed to seeing from rookies, and possibly even some mid-season roster moves.
The Spurs are set to tip off their regular season tomorrow against the Charlotte Hornets at home in San Antonio at 7:00 PM CST.