SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The San Antonio Spurs waived Josh Primo on Friday, and the second-year guard told ESPN he has been dealing with trauma he experienced previously.
The 6-foot-6 Primo was selected by San Antonio with the No. 12 pick in the 2021 NBA draft. He had averaged 7.0 points in four games this season while battling minor injuries.
After the Spurs announced the move with no explanation, the 19-year-old Primo provided a statement to ESPN.
“I know that you all are surprised by today’s announcement,” he said. “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.”
Before Primo released his statement, Spurs Sports & Entertainment CEO RC Buford said: “It is our hope that, in the long run, this decision will serve the best interest of both the organization and Joshua.”
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich arrived a half hour after his scheduled pregame media session and only minutes after the Spurs released the statement on Primo’s waiver.
“We’re going to stick by what we told you,” Popovich said.
Primo averaged 5.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists in his rookie season with the Spurs after playing one season at Alabama. He started 18 games, and at 18 years, 300 days became the youngest player in league history to appear in an NBA game after going to college.
Primo missed most of this preseason with an MCL sprain. San Antonio exercised the third-year team option on the Canadian just two weeks ago.