Why did the Spurs release Joshua Primo? San Antonio terminated the contract of its first-round pick in the 2021 Draft

San Antonio Spurs shocked the NBA world on Friday night, announcing shortly before their game against the Chicago Bulls that they had released Joshua Cousin.

The 19-year-old shooting guard, who was in the midst of his second season with San Antonio, is leaving the team after playing only four games this season.

“We are hopeful that, in the long term, this decision is in the best interest of both the organization and Joshua, Spurs CEO RC Buford said in a statement..

Seeing the Spurs make the move official, even some of the most knowledgeable journalists in the NBA scene were asking the big question: Why has San Antonio decided to cut ties with Primo so early in his career?

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Why did the San Antonio Spurs release Joshua Primo?

San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich and the rest of the organization have declined to comment on Primo’s situation beyond Buford’s statement Friday night.

Primo if it was expressed, in a separate statement (via ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski):

“I know all of you are surprised by today’s announcement. I have been seeking help to deal with previous traumas that I suffered and will now take this time to focus more on my mental health treatment. I look forward to discussing these topics in the future.” so that I can help others who have suffered similarly. I appreciate the privacy at this time.”

The following day, ESPN’s Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne provided a little more context to the situation, reporting that Primo’s surprising contract termination “stemmed from multiple alleged instances of Primo exposing his body to women.”

Shams Charania (of The Athletic) added more context after that, reporting that Primo exposed himself to a former Spurs employee. That anonymous employee has hired Tony Buzbee as her attorney, the same one who represented the women in sexual misconduct lawsuits against NFL quarterback Deshaun Watson.

No further details about these accusations have been released.

The Spurs selected Primo with the 12th pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. He averaged 5.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 50 games as a rookie. He also spent time with the G League Austin Spurs during the 2021-2022 season.

Earlier this month, San Antonio announced that it had exercised the third-year option on Primo’s contract. Through four games this season, he had increased his per game averages to 7.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists.

Joshua Primo stats and highlights

  • 5.9 points per game
  • 2.3 rebounds per game
  • 1.8 assists per game
  • 0.4 steals per game
  • 0.5 blocks per match
  • 1.3 losses per game
  • 19.6 minutes per game
  • 37.2% shooting from the field
  • 30.2% in triples
  • 75% on free throws

The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent the NBA or its organizations.

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Why did the Spurs release Joshua Primo? San Antonio terminated the contract of its first-round pick in the 2021 Draft