2021 NBA Draft: Evaluating Growing Canadian Prospect Joshua Primo As NBA Player | NBA.com Canada


Joshua Primo, a native of Toronto, Ont. And a freshman in Alabama, chose to test the waters of the 2021 NBA Draft, initially entering the process by signing up with an NCAA certified agent to keep the option of returning to school available.

Playing half of his first season at 17, Primo was one of the youngest players in the NCAA. Going through the draft process as an 18-year-old who won’t be 19 until Christmas Eve, Primo is seen as a young and progressive with an above-average height for his position.

Measuring to the combine at 6ft 5in with a 6ft 9in wingspan, the giant guard has already caught the attention of scouts. With several reports surfacing of Primo’s success in drills and scrimmages, the Canadian guard’s name began to gain traction, shifting from a prospect who was testing the waters to a potential first-round pick.

As a result, the 18-year-old chose to forgo his remaining college eligibility, remaining in the 2021 NBA Draft class.

But what does Primo bring to the NBA team that could select him?

In a conversation with Wes Brown (@wesblairbrown), a Canada Basketball scout who has watched Primo play since Grade 10, he insisted that Hope’s ability to create his own shot will be something that will translate into seamlessly to the next level.

“He’s a guy who always had a good footwork to create his own sweater, to get to his places on the floor. That’s what I would call a shot scorer. And he showed flashes that he’s more than that now, proving he’s improving at scoring around the rim too, ”Brown told NBA.com.

When asked which area of ​​Primo’s game had developed the most since he started spotting it years ago, he felt it was a combination of skills and tangible state of mind. Brown said Primo is emerging as a much more confident player, who played well with his improved ball handling, helping the big guard better create separation for his shot while knowing when to attack the basket.

“He’s always been a great shooter, but I really think his fluency has improved and his confidence has improved,” said Brown. “When I first saw him he was knocking down shots, but he wasn’t really creating his own shot. And he wasn’t the level of athlete who could end up at the rim very well.

“As his skill level improved, you saw his confidence rise with him. And that’s what we saw at the NBA combination. He showed his ability to achieve. and in scoring from a number of spots on the floor, he showed he was developed refined countermovements with a solid grip, and he showed a natural change in speed and smoothness on the rebound to be able to shoot anytime, ”Brown told NBA.com.

“He reminds me of a bigger Immanuel Quickley.”

Primo hasn’t had a great opportunity to fully display his arsenal as a player in his only season in Alabama, stuck behind three established guards in sophomore Jaden Shackelford, red-shirt sophomore Jahvon Quinerly and senior John Petty. As a result, he was fourth in the team’s pecking order for play and score, explaining how a player who averaged just 8.1 points and less than one assist per game received a blow. major thumbs up to his draft stock as soon as he was able to prove himself on a platform like the Combine.

“I think his confidence is at an all time high and his skills are at an all time high,” Brown preached. “As a result, you see the potential for him to reach a new height, looking like a player who could be a playmaker or a shooter, a true combo guard to the next level.”

Brown was particularly interested in Primo’s potential as a versatile defenseman in the NBA, using his size and length to his advantage to be a suffocating defender on the ball and a crafty defender off the ball.

“I think he can keep 1 to 3, but getting stronger will be the most important thing. I think as his body and leg strength improves he could be great on that side. -There. He’s good sideways, very long at playing in passing lanes, deflecting balls and wreaking havoc. Better physical fitness will help get through screens and make saves, but that’s the intrigue of his versatility. We already know he can defend off the ball very well, but maybe he could become a guy who is locking on the ball. He has shown all of those tools you are looking for. “

The Toronto product could be an asset to a number of established franchises in the 20-30 range that can afford to be patient with its progress.

The LA Clippers (No. 25 overall pick), Denver Nuggets (26), Brooklyn Nets (27), Philadelphia 76ers (28), Phoenix Suns (29) and Utah Jazz (30) could all benefit from his high upside potential. Even the Houston Rockets, who have three first-round picks in this year’s draft (Nos. 2, 23 and 24), could go for the Diamond in the rough prospect that fits the timeline of their new rebuild.

Primo’s name is certainly one to watch as the July 29 NBA Draft date draws closer.

Projected NBA draft position: First round late

Projected NBA role: Development player

Shades of: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Emmanuel Quickley

The opinions on this page do not necessarily represent those of the NBA or its clubs.

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