On Monday, the LA Clippers surprised many by opting to convert a controversial player on a two-way contract to a standard NBA contract. Guard Josh Primo was previously drafted 11th overall by the San Antonio Spurs but he was waived after a little more than a season there due to alleged misconduct.
He spent all of last season away from the NBA and was suspended by the league for four games after being signed by the Clippers. The Clippers’ decision to sign Primo, let alone convert Primo’s contract from a two-way deal to a regular NBA deal, is questionable at best. Now it appears that he will be sticking around in LA for longer than initially expected.
Behind the Clippers’ controversial decision to double down on Primo
Considering that Primo was a lottery pick and the youngest player in his draft class, the Clippers clearly saw untapped potential in him. However, they ignored serious allegations that the NBA seemed to corroborate.
Despite that, the Clippers found themselves with more roster space following the James Harden trade. That deal saw the Clippers ship out Nic Batum, Robert Covington, and Marcus Morris to add an eight-time all-star, PJ Tucker, and a third player who was later dealt to the Sacramento Kings.
Those moves cleared out an extra roster spot, which the Clippers promptly used to convert Primo. Whether you agree with their decision, Primo does have a much higher ceiling than the typical players signed to two-way contracts. Therefore, utilizing an open roster spot on him does at least make some basketball sense.
After all, before he was dismissed by the Spurs, they viewed him highly and they were developing him as a point guard to maximize his height and shooting ability. With Harden, Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George on the team, they probably won’t need him to play point guard, though he could easily play shooting guard.
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Overall, signing Primo was a controversial decision, as was converting his contract. Be that as it may, the Clippers had an extra roster spot after the Harden trade and decided to use it on him, given his potential.