Wieskamp goes to San Antonio at No. 41
SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Spurs selected guard Josh Primo of Alabama with the No. 12 pick in Thursday night’s NBA draft, adding a 6-foot-5 guard as they rebuild through youth.
Primo averaged 8.1 points and 3.5 rebounds in his lone season with the Crimson Tide. The 18-year-old was born in Toronto and played high school in West Virginia for one season before returning to complete his prep career in Canada.
Primo impressed the Spurs and other teams at the NBA combine in June with his outside shooting and playmaking abilities. Still, the selection caught him off guard.
“I don’t know if I was ready for that,” Primo said. “I didn’t realize it was going to be that high, but I’m glad it’s with the Spurs. I’ve always wanted to be a Spur. I told my agent when I first got into this process, that’s where I want to be; and it ended up working out that way. So, it’s great.”
The Spurs also selected Joe Wieskamp of Iowa with the 41st pick. The 6-foot-6 small forward averaged 14.8 points last season while shooting 46 percent on 3-pointers.
Wieskamp is the highest NBA Draft selection by a Hawkeye since Ricky Davis in 1998 (No. 21 overall). The second-team All-Big Ten honoree was the only NCAA Division I player in the country with 400 points, 200 rebounds, 70 3-pointers and 25 steals in 2021.
Wieskamp ranked second on the team in scoring (14.8) and rebounding (6.6) behind National Player of the Year Luka Garza, who was drafted later in the second round by the Detroit Pistons. They’re the first pair of Hawkeyes to be drafted since Davis and Ryan Bowen in 1998.
The Spurs have failed to reach the playoffs the past two seasons after matching a league record with 22 straight postseasons while winning five NBA titles. That success resulted in San Antonio owning only five lottery picks, the least of any team since the draft lottery was created in 1985.
The Spurs continued a recent trend of selecting who they believe is the best player available rather than drafting for a specific need.
San Antonio is adding Primo and Wieskamp to an already deep set of wings after selecting guards Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, Lonnie Walker and Tre Jones, and forwards Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell in the previous five seasons.
Murray, White and Johnson spent most of their rookie season developing their game with the Spurs’ G League affiliate in Austin and Primo could face a similar path.
“We’re going to have to learn each other and see where I’m at,” Primo said. “I think it’s going to be a decision made not right now, but probably closer to when the season starts and during the season. It’s going to be a great opportunity either way, and I’m just going to keep working whether I’m in the G League or playing on the NBA floor.”
At 18 years, 217 days, Primo is the youngest draft pick in franchise history.