Combine gave Spurs better read on Josh Primo

CHICAGO — Agent Todd Ramasar arrived at the 2021 NBA draft combine last June confident he had a special client in then-18-year-old Josh Primo.

Ramasar’s challenge was to get others to share his viewpoint before the July 19 deadline for Primo to withdraw from the draft process.

That’s where the combine came in.

“The goal was always for him to be a lottery selection because he was a lottery talent,” Ramasar recalled. “NBA teams really got to see that from his play at the combine. That’s where he really started to pick up steam.”

Impressed by what they saw from Primo on and off the court in Chicago, the Spurs wound up selecting the teen guard from Toronto 12th overall in late July. They felt good about the choice after the draft and even better about it after his rookie season, which saw him finish the year as a starter for a team that battled its way into the Western Conference play-in tournament.

“He’s going to be a hell of a player,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said late in the season.

Possessing the ninth overall selection after Tuesday night’s lottery, Spurs general manager Brian Wright and his talent evaluators are in Chicago this week for an intelligence-gathering mission they hope will turn out to be as fruitful as last year’s operation.

In addition to their lottery pick, their highest slot since 1997, when they selected Tim Duncan first overall, the…

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Tom Orsborn

Tom Orsborn

San Antonio Express-News

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Sportswriter for 36 years at San Antonio Express-News, covering everything from preps to the Cowboys to the Spurs. Proud San Antonio College alum.