Following the NBA Combine, a lot of players — notably at the guard spots — saw their stock plummet. For instance, the dynamic playmaking Sharife Cooper measured at 6’ feet on the nose. There is some speculation that he may even drop out of the First Round entirely because of his swing-for-the-fence style of reckless play and tiny frame.
Another thing hampering the draft this year is just relative lack of guards. If you want wing players, the draft is loaded. If you want a three-and-D ballhandler with a nice outside stroke, your options are very limited
So, perhaps with competing player evaluations checking in a lot lower than many expected, being generally adored by GMs, and a good overall combine, it should not have been a surprise that Josh Primo, long bandied about as a marginal First Rounder, decided to test the NBA waters. And not only dip both toes in the water, but dive into the deep end.
Yesterday, draftniks reported that Primo was likely to stay in. Then, last night, SI broke that it is a done deal — Primo is forgoing his eligibility. And that appears to be the smart gamble too. No longer a cusp player, Primo is firmly a Round One pick, and has several workouts scheduled with half a dozen teams. He’s even being considered a late lottery player.
It may not make sense to a college hoops fan — it’s clear Primo needs a lot more work. But the NBA doesn’t care about that. They see the youngest player in the draft with ballhandling skills, defensive skills, and a natural outside stroke. Development can come later; you can’t coach talent. Combine those talents with a thin draft at his position, a good combine, great GM interviews, and sliding by competitors at his position, and there’s not a better convergence of events out there for Josh.
It’s the right call, for him certainly.
For Alabama, this is another dent in a roster that was already going to have to be rebuilt. Parker is working on a depth chart / personnel piece now, and that will be along soon. But for now, let’s marvel that Alabama, the football school, has had two one-and-dones in three years.
This ain’t Wimp’s Crimson Tide team, that’s for sure.
Best of luck Josh. Roll Tide.