Josh Primo’s abrupt release casts doubt on the San Antonio Spurs’ rebuild

Josh Primo (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
Josh Primo (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images) /

Fans of the San Antonio Spurs were thrown for a loop by the shocking news that the team had waived prized prospect, Josh Primo. Anyone that knows about Primo knows that the Spurs were incredibly high on him, with some even going as far as to say that he was the team’s next franchise player.

Those are lofty expectations, but Josh Primo was young enough, talented enough, and hardworking enough to make that happen. In fact, they likely traded all-star Dejounte Murray partly due to the faith they had in him. Now that Primo’s been released, the Spurs’ rebuild has been thrown into serious jeopardy.

What do the San Antonio Spurs do after releasing Josh Primo?

While we don’t yet know the reason why he was released, it’s clear that the team felt strongly enough to move on from a key part of their future plans. This season was all about player development, and those plans haven’t changed, but who’s being developed now has. Tre Jones, who was selected 41st overall in the 2020 NBA draft, has been starting at point guard this season but was seen as more of a stopgap starter.

That’s obviously not the case now, but prior to this news, he had already proven that he was a more than capable starting point guard. The Spurs will be fine with him this season and, perhaps, going forward, but his ceiling is much lower than Primo’s.

Meanwhile, Blake Wesley, the team’s 20th pick in this year’s draft, will likely now back up Jones and get a chance to prove himself much earlier than anyone expected. He showed flashes in the NBA Summer League and will now hopefully show even more in the NBA, but 19-year-old point guards normally are big net negatives, so the Spurs will probably be worse off in that regard.

At the moment, that might not matter considering they’re 4-2 and have already beaten 3 playoff teams, but it will if and when veterans like Jakob Poeltl, Doug McDermott, and Josh Richardson are inevitably traded. The Spurs’ ceiling as a team this season was already pretty low, with most expecting them to be a bottom-four team in the NBA, but it has to be at least 10% lower now.

The silver lining, if there is any, is that it increases the chances that they end up as one of the three worst teams in the NBA, and that maximizes their chances of getting the number one or number two pick and selecting Victor Wembanyama or Scoot Henderson.

Next. San Antonio Spurs: Predicting the team’s leader in every statistic. dark

Landing either would help steady the team and ensure a successful rebuild, especially when paired with Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell, who have far and away been the Spurs’ two best players this season. However, as it stands now, the San Antonio Spurs’ rebuild is full of uncertainty.