Ex-Spur Primo says he will seek help for mental health issues after being waived by team

In a very interesting move, the San Antonio Spurs have waived guard Joshua Primo, the team announced Friday. 

Primo, who was on the Spurs’ injured list with a left glute soreness, was selected by the Spurs with the 12th pick in the 2021 NBA Draft out of Alabama.

Recently, the Spurs picked up the third-year option on Primo for the 2023-24 season.

Last season, the 19-year-old appeared in 50 games for San Antonio, averaging 5.8 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in 19.3 minutes. Primo also spent time with the Austin Spurs and averaged 16.6 points, a team-high 5.6 assists, and 3.0 rebounds in 19 games.

“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 said in th press release announcing the move.

According to the team, the Spurs organization, including front office executives, coaching staff, and players, will have no additional comments to share at this time.

After the release, Primo sent a statement to ESPN on his release.

“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.”

Primo has a lot of ability, so whatever he did, the Spurs clearly were not comfortable going forward with him. Hopefully, he gets the help he needs to be better on and off the court.

Spurs exercise team options on Vassell, Primo

 The San Antonio Spurs have exercised their fourth-year team option on guard Devin Vassell, as well as their third-year option on guard Josh Primo for the 2023-24 season, the team announced Monday.

Vassell, 22, is entering his third year with the Spurs after appearing in 71 games last season and averaging 12.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 27.3 minutes. In 2021-22, Vassell became the first Spur in franchise history to make more than 100 three-pointers in his sophomore season and is now one of three Spurs to record 1,000 points, 125 threes, and 100 steals in their first two seasons. The Spurs selected Vassell in the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft (11th overall).

The 19-year-old Primo begins his second season after appearing in 50 games for San Antonio last year and averaging 5.8 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in 19.3 minutes. The Alabama alum made his NBA debut vs. Orlando on 10/20/21 and his first start at Philadelphia on 1/7/22. His 18 total starts are the most by a Spurs rookie since 2011-12.

Primo also spent time with the Austin Spurs and averaged 16.6 points, a team-high 5.6 assists, and 3.0 rebounds in 19 games after being selected by San Antonio with the 12th overall pick of the 2021 NBA Draft.

Collins in Concussion Protocol:

In other news, the Spurs announced on Monday that forward Zach Collins has entered the NBA’s Concussion Protocol following last night’s Spurs-Pelicans game. According to the team, Collins will not travel to Utah for tomorrow’s Spurs-Jazz game, and San Antonio will provide updates on his return to the court as appropriate.

Spurs waive Kuhse:

Also, the team announced that they have waived guard Tommy Kuhse. The undrafted rookie free agent out of Saint Mary’s appeared in two preseason games, averaging 6.0 points and 1.5 assists in 9.0 minutes per contest.

Spurs’ Johnson injures shoulder

San Antonio forward Keldon Johnson suffered a right shoulder posterior dislocation, the team announced Saturday.

Johnson. 22, injured the shoulder during the team’s open gym and has started actively rehabbing.

According to the Spurs, he will miss the start of the preseason schedule, but Johnson is expected to be available for the start of the regular season.

Last season, Johnson averaged a career-high 17.0 points per contest and is one the team’s best players.  During the offseason, the Spurs awarded Johnson as he signed a four-year, $80 million rookie scale contract extension.

In addition, San Antonio announced their training camp roster. which currently stands at 20 players. The Silver and Black return 11 players from last season and features six of San Antonio’s first round draft picks from the last four years, as well as six offseason additions.

Head coach Gregg Popovich returns to lead the Spurs for the 27th straight season. San Antonio’s training camp wil:l run Sept. 27 – Oct. 2 before kicking off the 2022-23 campaign with a preseason matchup at Houston on Sunday, Oct. 2.

The Spurs will open the regular season at home on Wednesday, Oct. 19 against the Charlotte Hornets.

2022-23 SAN ANTONIO SPURS TRAINING CAMP ROSTER:

               
No.

Player

Pos. Ht. Wt. DOB Prior to NBA/Home Country Yrs.
3 Keldon Johnson G/F 6-6 210 10/11/99 Kentucky/USA 3
7 Josh Richardson G 6-5 200 09/15/93 Tennessee/USA 7
10 Jeremy Sochan F 6-8 225 05/20/03 Baylor/Poland-England R
11 Josh Primo G 6-5 190 12/24/02 Alabama/Canada 1
14 Blake Wesley G 6-5 185 03/16/03 Notre Dame/USA R
15 Joe Wieskamp G/F 6-6 210 08/03/99 Iowa/USA 1
17 Doug McDermott F 6-8 225 01/03/92 Creighton/USA 8
18 Isaiah Roby F 6-8 230 02/03/98 Nebraska/USA 3
19 Alize Johnson F 6-7 210 04/22/96 Missouri State/USA 4
22 Malaki Branham G 6-5 195 05/12/03 Ohio State/USA R
23 Zach Collins F/C 6-11 250 11/19/97 Gonzaga/USA 4
24 Devin Vassell G 6-6 195 08/23/00 Florida State/USA 2
25 Jakob Poeltl C 7-0 240 10/15/95 Utah/Austria 6
26 Dominick Barlow* F 6-10 220 05/26/03 Overtime Elite/USA R
27 Tommy Kuhse G 6-2 185 10/21/96 Saint Mary’s (CA)/USA R
31 Keita Bates-Diop F 6-8 230 01/23/96 Ohio State/USA 4
33 Tre Jones G 6-2 185 01/08/00 Duke/USA 2
35 Romeo Langford G/F 6-5 215 10/25/99 Nebraska/USA 3
41 Gorgui Dieng F/C 6-10 250 01/18/90 Louisville/Senegal 9
55 Jordan Hall* G 6-8 220 01/14/02 St. Joseph’s (PA)/USA R
*Two-way Contract
Head Coach: Gregg Popovich (Air Force)
Assistant Coaches: Brett Brown (Boston University)
  Mitch Johnson (Stanford)
Matt Nielsen (Australia)
Darius Songaila (Wake Forest)

Spurs re-sign Joe Wieskamp

The San Antonio Spurs announced that they have re-signed guard Joe Wieskamp, the team announced Wednesday.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, it’s a two-year, $4.4 million deal for the second-year forward.

Wieskamp, 23, played in 30 games for the Spurs last year in his rookie season, averaging 2.0 points in 6.8 minutes with San Antonio. As a two-way player, Wieskamp also appeared in 28 games for the Austin Spurs, where he averaged 15.4 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.11 steals in 32.4 minutes in the NBA G League.

Originally drafted by San Antonio with the 41st overall selection in the second round of the 2021 NBA Draft, Wieskamp played three years at the University of Iowa.

Spurs announce 2022-23 schedule, team to play game at Alamodome

The San Antonio Spurs are a franchise in transition. Next season, the rebuild continues and begins on Oct. 19 at home against the Charlotte Hornets, the team announced Wednesday.

This is the team’s 50th anniversary season. On opening night, Spurs legend Manu Ginobili, who will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in September, will be on hand as his jersey in the rafters of the AT&T Center will be revealed with a Hall of Fame distinction at halftime

ALAMODOME RETURN

Commemorating 50 years in San Antonio, the Spurs will be “Back Home in the Dome” and return to play a game in the Alamodome for the first time since 2002, where they will host the defending champion Golden State Warriors on Friday, Jan. 13.

San Antonio is striving to break the NBA’s all-time attendance record for a regular season game by filling the Alamodome with Silver and Black fans. The league’s current record stands at 62,046 when the Atlanta Hawks hosted the Chicago Bulls in 1998, while the configuration for this year’s Alamodome game will utilize the entire stadium and hold the capacity to reach over 65,000 fans.

Schedule notes:

San Antonio is also set to host premier home games all season long, including the Los Angeles Lakers in back-to-back home games the two days after Thanksgiving on Friday, Nov. 25 and Saturday, Nov. 26. The Spurs welcome their interstate rival the Dallas Mavericks on New Year’s Eve, and the Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics in San Antonio on Saturday, Jan. 7.

The Spurs will play three other home games away from the AT&T Center, part of the Spurs drive to deepen the team’s regional fanbase, with a game in Mexico City on Saturday, Dec. 17 against the Miami Heat, then in Austin against the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday, April 6 and the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday, April 8.

The Spurs will also hold a 2014 Championship Night on Tuesday, March 14, when San Antonio hosts the Orlando Magic.

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Spurs grab Sochan, Branham, Wesley in the first round of NBA Draft

For the first time in team history, the San Antonio Spurs had three first-round picks. Hopefully, for the franchise, they chose correctly. With the ninth overall pick, San Antonio grabbed Baylor forward Jeremy Sochan, Ohio State guard Malaki Branham with the 20th overall pick, and Notre Dame guard Blake Wesley with the 25th overall pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft.

The 6-9 Sochan, who is the highest draft pick by the Spurs since they selected Tim Duncan with the first overall pick in the 1997 NBA Draft, played one season at Baylor. The 19-year-old Sochan was named the Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year and was selected to the Big 12 All-Freshman Team, averaging 9.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.27 steals while appearing in 30 games.

A native of England, Sochan averaged 13.8 points and 8.3 rebounds in four games across the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments.

“I’m very excited,” Sochan said Thursday night. ‘I think I’ll bring a lot of versatility to the team, energy, and fight and passion. I’m really excited.”

The 6-5 Branham played one season at Ohio State, where he was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year. The 19-year-old averaged 13.7 points and 3.6 rebounds in 32 games.

“I feel like just me spacing the floor and me being able to knock down outside shots,” Branham said. “I feel like I’m a good fit for that.”

When asked what current Spurs player he admires, Branham said the following:

“I’d probably say Dejounte Murray, just because he was kind of in the same range that I was, and also just hard worker, and he’s a great defensive player.”

Wesley played one season at Notre Dame. In 35 games, the 6-5 guard led the Fighting Irish in scoring with 14.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 2.4 assists in 29.4 minutes as a freshman. The 19-year-old finished with the fourth-most points (504) by a freshman in Notre Dame program history. 

“I fit good,” Wesley said. “They drafted Josh Primo, and they developed him. I feel like the San Antonio Spurs are a big development team organization, and to be going there is a big blessing.”

Also, San Antonio acquired a future second-round pick and cash considerations from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for the draft rights to Kennedy Chandler, who the Spurs drafted in the second round of this year’s draft with the 38th overall selection.

Mavs’ Brunson on Doncic: ‘For some reason, I feel like he will be ready to go’

The Dallas Mavericks and their fans are hoping for the best when it comes to the status of All-Star guard Luka Doncic, who left Sunday’s 130-120 win over the Spurs with a left calf injury late in the third quarter and did not return.

According to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, Doncic, who had 26 points, eight rebounds and nine assists against the Spurs, will get an MRI on his calf this afternoon.

Dallas did have a shot at the third seed if the Warriors lost to the Pelicans. However, that did not happen as Golden State defeated the Pelicans in New Orleans, so the Mavericks will now be the fourth seed in the West and battle the fifth-seeded Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs.

Game 1 is Saturday afternoon in Dallas.

Jalen Brunson, who had 18 points, six rebounds, and five assists Sunday night, believes Doncic will find a way to be on the court Saturday in Dallas for Game 1.

‘”For some reason, I feel like he will be ready to go,” Brunson said after the game. “Knowing the competitor he is, I’m sure he will be ready. It’s unfortunate, but with a competitor like that, you can’t keep him down for long. We’re happy that, obviously, we won the game and things like that, but we will leave this for tomorrow and go from there…

“He’s probably a little upset that he is hurt. But, I went up to him, shook his hand, and asked if he is good. He looked at me and said, “Yeah.” Everybody just kind of looked at each other, nodded, and I had to go to a meeting. Like I said, I feel like he will be ready. We are talking playoff basketball now; no one is going to sit. If you can play, you can play. He’s a competitor, and he will be ready.”

Many may criticize Mavs head coach Jason Kidd for having Doncic in the game with the Mavs up 16 points in the third, but according to the Hall of Famer, injuries happen.

“I thought the guys did a good job there at the end of the third quarter to extend that lead,” Kidd said. “With that being said, injuries are part of a game; absences are part of the game; we’ll see how [Luka Doncic] feels. The nice thing is that we have won homecourt, so we don’t have to travel, and we got a week until we play.”

Look, you can criticize Kidd for having Doncic out there, and it might be justified, but to Kidd’s point, injuries happen, and again, Dallas was trying to get the third seed.

At this point, Dallas will have to wait and see if their best player will be available against the Jazz.

Listen below Brunson talks Doncic and win over San Antonio:

Pop on 1336 wins: ‘Something like this does not belong to one individual’

History was made Friday night in the NBA. San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich reached 1,336 wins in his career to become the winningest head coach in NBA history as the Spurs defeated the Jazz 104-102 at AT&T Center.

Pop passed Don Nelson (1,335 wins), who had held the record since 2010. After starting his career with the Spurs as an assistant coach from 1988-92, Popovich went to the Golden State Warriors for two seasons as an assistant coach under Nelson. 

“Something like this does not belong to one individual,” Popovich said postgame. “Basketball’s a team sport. You preach to your players that they have to do it together, and that’s certainly been the case in my life with all the wonderful players and coaches, the staff that I’ve been blessed with, the support of this wonderful city.”

After the win, the team tried to celebrate with Pop, but he wanted no parts. Actually, the players might have to pay for that celebration.

“Yes, they know how much I enjoy that sort of thing,” Popovich said playfully. “And I’m gonna bring them all in and have them run suicides before the game tomorrow.”

Popovich has led the Spurs to five NBA Championships (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2014) and has the third-most playoff wins in league history (170) and the record for most consecutive winning regular seasons with 23 in a row from 1997-2019.

A three-time NBA Coach of the Year in 2003, 2012, and 2014, Popovich is in year 26 with the Spurs, and he’s the longest-tenured active coach in all four U.S. major sports leagues.

Internationally, Popovich served as head coach of the USA Basketball Senior Men’s National Team from 2017- 20 and led Team USA to a gold medal at the 2020 Olympics.

It was a great night for San Antonio and a great night for Popovich.

Watch below as Pop reacts to 1336 wins:

 

Spurs convert two-way contracts of Wieskamp, Cacok

The San Antonio Spurs have converted the two-way contracts of forward Devontae Cacok and guard Joe Wieskamp to standard NBA contracts, the team announced Friday.

Cacok, 25, has played in 11 games for San Antonio this season, averaging 3.6 points and 3.3 rebounds in 8.4 minutes. In 28 games for the Austin Spurs, the third-year forward holds averages of 19.8 points, 12.8 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in 30.7 minutes.

Wieskamp, 22, has appeared in 18 games this year for San Antonio in his first NBA season, averaging 2.1 points in 5.3 minutes. In 24 games for the Austin Spurs, the former Iowa Hawkeye is averaging 14.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 32.3 minutes. 

The Spurs drafted him with the 41st overall selection in the second round of the 2021 NBA Draft.

In addition, they signed guard DJ Stewart Jr. and forward Robert Woodard II to two-way contracts. 

The 22-year-old Stewart Jr.has appeared in 34 games for the Sioux Falls Skyforce in the NBA G League this season, averaging 17.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.68 steals in 36.6 minutes. 

Woodard II, 22, has played in 15 games this season for the Oklahoma City Blue and Stockton Kings in the NBA G League, where he is averaging 12.9 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in 26.9 minutes.

Mavs’ Porzingis: ‘He(Luka Doncic) takes so much pressure off everybody else’

The Mavericks’ Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis came to play against the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night. 

The two scored 32 points apiece, while Doncic, who had a triple-double, added 15 assists and 12 rebounds as Dallas defeated the Spurs on the road 123-109. 

Dallas(8-4), who led by as many as 27 points on Friday night, has now played and beaten the Spurs(4-8) three times this season.

Here is the Great, Not so Great, and the Bottom Line of the Mavs’ win against San Antonio:

The Great for the Dallas Mavericks:

-Luka Doncic messed around and got his first triple-double of the season. Doncic is now sixth in NBA history in 30-point triple-doubles as he was 11/23 from the floor, including six threes. According to Mavs PR, Doncic has joined Oscar Robertson as the only players in NBA history to record six-plus career games of 30-plus points, 12-plus rebounds, and 15-plus assists.

-Kristaps Porzingis had his best game of the season as he scored 32 points on 12/22 shooting from the field, including three threes, grabbed seven rebounds, and three blocks. It was Porzingis’ 28th career 30-point game (14th with the Mavs). This is Porzingis'(22 points and 12 rebounds) second straight strong game as he had a double-double against the Bulls.

-Dorian Finney-Smith was solid on Friday night. He had 15 points, including three threes, seven rebounds, three assists, three steals, and a block. This was Smith’s first-career game of 15-plus, five-plus rebounds, three-plus assists.

Third Quarter: Dallas outscored San Antonio 34-20 in the quarter. The Mavericks, who led 68-57 at halftime, had their largest lead of 27 in third. They shot 52% from the field. Both Finney-Smith and Jalen Brunson scored eight points in the quarter.

Not so Great for the Mavericks:

-Not much to add here. Actually, nothing to add. 

Bottom Line:

This season, Dallas has the lowly Spurs’ number. However, a win is a win, and you beat the teams that are on your schedule. It will get more challenging for the Mavericks as the next five games will be against the Nuggets(home), @Suns(2x), and @Clippers(2x).

“He(Luka Doncic) takes so much pressure off everybody else,” Porzingis said postgame. “Makes everybody else better and get more open looks.”

What’s Next:

The Mavericks return home on Monday to battle the Denver Nuggets.

Best of the Rest:

-The Spurs had seven players in double figures led by Devin Vassell’s 20 points off the bench.

-Jalen Brunson is a weapon off the Mavs’ bench. He had 17 points and three assists.

Listen below as Mavs head coach Jason Kidd talks Doncic, Porzingis, and win against Spurs: