Overall, it was a great evening for the University of Alabama basketball program.
Despite some late astroturfing and poor-mouthing, those post-Combine projections on Josh Primo being a late-lottery pick were spot-on. With the 12th selection of the 2021 NBA Draft, Coach Pop made the hyperkinetic 18-year-old a San Antonio Spur.
Primo’s college production won’t wow anyone: About 9 PPG, but he is very active on defense, can handle the ball, shoots almost 40% from the perimeter, and is a natural three-and-D player off the bench as his playmaking progresses. The Spurs needed to get more athletic, bring in playmakers, and get younger: the youngest player in the Draft does just that.
Primo was also the first SEC player taken. /Kermit sip tea.
And, of course, Woj scooped everyone just an hour into the draft, saying that his #sauces indicated Primo was going to the Spurs. That guy has uncanny insider knowledge.
If you’re keeping track at home, that now makes it three Alabama players selected as lottery picks in the last four years, including recording a program-first: back-to-back lottery picks. All three players, by the way, have been ball-handling guards who can create their own shots: Collin Sexton, Kira Lewis Jr., and now Josh Primo. #PGU
As the early second round came into focus, the player most expected to go mid- to late-round was scooped uo off the board in something of a surprise. Just five picks into the Second Round, New Orleans made reigning SEC PotY Herbert Jones a Pelican with the 35th overall selection, reuniting him with former ‘Bama teammate, Kira Lewis.
Pels GM and former Duke star Trajan Langdon couldn’t stop raving about the selection, and importantly why they went after Herb — in short, for the same reasons that made him an Alabama legend. Productive scorer, frenetic defender, high energy on and off the ball, and outstanding basketball IQ.
Trajan Langdon on getting Herb Jones at 35: “Man, we were ecstatic. ... We’re incredibly excited to have him here. I think he can do a lot of things and be in the NBA for a really long time, and I hope he’s with us for a really long time."— Christian Clark (@cclark3000) July 30, 2021
Trajan Langdon on #Pelicans: "The one thing we wanted to do this summer was bring in defensive-slanted guys, high-basketball IQ guys and shooting. I think we did that with (the draft)."— Jim Eichenhofer (@Jim_Eichenhofer) July 30, 2021
Things were not quite so rosy for John Petty, who went undrafted. But, he can take some solace in the fact that it was a bad year overall to be an off-ball shooter. At the end of the Draft, there were still a dozen or more quality scorers sitting by the phone. There was some doubt late in the second whether Sharife Cooper would even be drafted. While he did finally get picked up, SEC standouts Brandon Boston and Trendon Watford (hehehe), are also going to be signing UDFA contracts.
In fact, this could be the deepest year in a very long time for UDFA NBA signings. As of this writing, FA contracts were being signed by the flurry, but I did not see one yet for Petty. Though that is just a matter of time.
Chin up there, JP. You’ll get your shot.
Next man up for point guard U, and best of luck to our latest ‘Bama pros.