Alabama Basketball: Josh Primo to remain in NBA Draft

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Alabama Basketball will lose Josh Primo to the NFL Draft. It was reported by ESPN Wednesday night that Primo had made his decision. It had been obvious the last few days that Primo’s NFL Draft Combine performance had increased his probability to be selected in the Draft’s first round.

No one should be surprised Primo chose the ‘one-and-done’ option. Based on Nate Oats’ comments earlier in the day, it was apparent the Alabama Basketball head man already knew Primo was NBA bound.

To some, a player that averaged just eights points in his one college season, becoming a first-round pick, is shocking. It should not be. The NBA has long drafted more on potential than performance. Primo was the youngest player at the NBA Combine and he showed solid potential to become an impact NBA player.

Mock Drafts are wrong more than correct, but a fair assessment is Primo will not have to sweat out the last few picks in the first round. Herbert Jones is in almost every Mock as a second-round pick. It is difficult to find any NBA expert predicting John Petty Jr. will be drafted.

As we discussed recently, Nate Oats may be seeking a late addition to the 2021-22 roster. Oats will soon know what Jaden Shackelford intends to do. The young man did not attend the first summer school session. The second summer term session began Tuesday. There has been no word yet if Shackelford is enrolled.

Should Shackelford seek a professional contract with an international team, or make a late decision to transfer, Nate Oats will have a roster opening.

For several days Alabama basketball fans have been debating over the expected exit of Primo and possibly Shackelford. Nate Oats has so loaded the Alabama Basketball roster with talent, many fans are unconcerned by Primo and possibly both players leaving.

Who steps in for Alabama Basketball?

Two Crimson Tide players who can be expected to benefit with added minutes are Keon Ellis and Darius Miles. Ellis delivered in a rotation role last season. He has the full package Nate Oats wants in his players. Ellis is almost a sure starter with Primo leaving. He probably would have been anyway, because he is the player most capable of stepping into Herbert Jones’ defensive role. Miles could become an explosive player if he can also consistently do the little things necessary to win.

Then there is J.D. Davison, who many Alabama basketball fans are sure will be one of the SEC’s best next season. If Shackelford returns, Davison is expected to take minutes away from him.

UPDATED: Late Wednesday night Jeff Goodman tweeted Shackelford has placed his name in the Transfer Portal.

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Crimson Tide fans will celebrate Primo’s entry into the NBA. Losing such a quality player is tough, but another ‘first-rounder’ strengthens Nate Oats’ recruiting pitch.