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San Antonio Spurs: Josh Primo offers a unique offensive upside

Joshua Primo
Joshua Primo / David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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San Antonio Spurs
Joshua Primo / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Tapping into Primo's offensive talents

Freshman guard Joshua Primo averaged 8.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and nearly 1 assist per contest at Alabama last season.

After an impressive Freshman season, he was selected to the All-SEC Freshman team, an award that's even more impressive after realizing that Primo was playing collegiate hoops just weeks after becoming a legal adult.

Broken down further, at just 18 years old, he flashed NBA-ready traits as a shooter. Shooting 38 percent from beyond the arc on four attempts per game, he placed in the 75th percentile as an outside shooter, but it only gets better from there.

Primo shot over 44 percent from deep on spot-up attempts, which placed him in the 93rd percentile, per Synergy. As a pure jump-shooter, he averaged 1.25 points per possession on his jumpers, which landed him in the 96th percentile.

He had a true shooting percentage of 56.9 percent while coupling that with an eFG% of 57.9 percent. Both of these landed him in the 70s range in terms of percentile.

These numbers at face value alone prove to you that Primo will likely translate to being a marksman from deep rather quickly. His strong efficiency numbers on a prominent amount of attempts, all of which coming in a variety of ways, prove that Primo is as NBA-ready as they come when shooting from distance.

His scoring ability without the ball is also impressive, even more when you realize that Primo ranked in the 98th percentile as a cutter. In totality, Primo's off-ball percentile rankings as a spot-up shooter and a cutter lead me to believe that he'll be a constant threat against opposing defenses.

His off-ball impact is an intriguing aspect of his game because he's remarkably young to already have a strong understanding of what to do without the ball. Considering he's 18 years old, should Primo's in-game IQ continue to blossom with reps at the next level, San Antonio could have a prospect on their hands that has serious off-ball gravity, opening up the floor for his teammates and creating opportunities for others.

Offensively, you know you're getting a strong off-ball talent in Joshua Primo, but there's more to his game. Despite the assist numbers needing improvement, there's reason to believe there's more in the tank for Primo as a creator.

Primo displayed a multitude of crafty and smooth dribble combinations at Alabama and even some of that Canadian jelly at the rim. His handle isn't dynamic or springy like Kyrie or Trae Young, but he has a good understanding of pace and angles when putting the ball on the floor.

You see in a clip like this one, Primo doesn't have an immensely dynamic dribble package, but he's able to create a passing window off of his own dribble penetration and find the wide-open shooter.

Signs like these are encouraging because he hasn't had a ton of reps as a lead ball-handler, as he only ran pick and roll just under 11 percent of his time at Alabama. But, there's an obvious level of comfort there that you can build on as a creator off the bounce for himself and others.

His creation ability will dictate whether or not San Antonio hit a home run at pick 12. If Primo is a movement 3-point shooter that can defend at an adequate level, it's a fine pick but the fans and the media will question it for years.

But if San Antonio and Joshua Primo can tap into the flashes of three-level shot creation upside, the San Antonio Spurs would have hit a 500-foot dinger with the selection of the Canadian guard.

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