After selecting Alabama guard Josh Primo with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, the San Antonio Spurs cut him on Friday. The decision came after he allegedly exposed himself to women.
Primo is 19 years old with significant upside on the hardwood and the team had recently picked up the $4.3 million option for 2023/24 on his contract. As a result, his release came as a surprise— initially.
“It is our hope that, in the long run, this decision will serve the best interest of both the organization and Joshua,” said Spurs Sports & Entertainment CEO RC Buford.
The decision to cut Primo now makes more sense after a report from Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski. Their sources said that the release “stemmed from multiple alleged instances of him exposing himself to women.”
In response to the allegations, Primo released the following statement to ESPN:
I know that you all are surprised by today’s announcement. I’ve been seeking help to deal with previous trauma I suffered and will now take this time to focus on my mental health treatment more fully. I hope to be able to discuss these issues in the future so I can help others who have suffered in a similar way. I appreciate privacy at this time.— Josh Primo on his release
While Primo’s future in San Antonio is over, that may not be the case for his career. He was placed on waivers after his release.
This is where other NBA organizations will have to make a decision.
Primo will clear waivers and become a free agent on Monday afternoon. If teams want to get ahead of the free agent process and claim him off of waivers, they must do so before that happens.
As a result, according to Shelburn and Wojnarowski, multiple teams are “searching for a complete understanding” of the allegations. They are intrigued by his talent, but need to get a grip on the entire situation.
In addition to the potential PR nightmare that could come with adding Primo to a roster, it’s not cheap. To claim Primo, a team must have enough cap space to take on his $4.1 million salary for this season, as well as the $4.3 million he is owed next year.
It will be interesting to see if another team decides to move forward with Primo despite the allegations.