Alabama Basketball: Josh Primo leads big night for Tide and SEC

Mandatory Credit: Arden Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Arden Barnes-USA TODAY Sports /

The biggest surprise of the 2021 NBA Draft was the selection of former Alabama Basketball player, Josh Primo. Primo was a near-lock to de drafted. Almost every Mock Draft had Primo being chosen in the mid to late 20s of the first round. Instead, the youngest player in the Draft had his name called by the San Antonio Spurs as the No. 12 selection.

Based on the NBA Rookie scale, Primo’s contract could reach $15M on four years of compensation, with a guarantee of close to $7M. That is quite a haul for a young man who will not turn 19 until December. Though playing a reserve role in his one Alabama Basketball season, Primo’s potential was easy for all to see. He was even more impressive during the NBA Combine, garnering positive reviews on and off the court.

Just a few days ago, Alabama Basketball, Head Coach Nate Oats said a high-profile team, well up in the NBA Draft order, had called him to talk about Primo. No doubt Josh got his coach’s strong endorsement.

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The Alabama Crimson Tide roster is loaded for the ’21-22 season, but with Primo, some basketball experts were talking about the Tide as a potential Final Four team. Oats will miss having such a key ingredient in his roster, but he will not fret. Being able to sell his Crimson Tide program with the proof of a one-and-done NBA Lottery pick will pay rewards.

Most NBA Draft experts predicted former Arkansas freshman, Moses Moody would be the first SEC player selected. He ended up as No.2, being chosen at No. 14 by Golden State. The next SEC player drafted at No. 18 was Florida Gator, Tre Mann, to the Thunder. At No. 21, the Clippers used a Knicks pick to choose Tennessee’s, Keon Johnson. By way of the Lakers and Wizards, Kentucky Wildcat, Isaiah Jackson went to the Pacers at No. 22. At No. 27, the Nets selected LSU’s, Cam Thomas.

There had been some hope the 76ers would choose Herbert Jones at No. 28, but instead, they selected another Tennessee player, Jaden Springer. Herbert was selected in the second round, at No. 35 to the Pelicans. The one-time 3-Star recruit from Moundville, AL will likely be a fan favorite in New Orleans as he was in Tuscaloosa.

Auburn’s J.T. Thor was the No. 37 pick by the Pistons. Three more former SEC players followed Thor as second-round selections. Unfortunately, John Petty Jr. was not one of them.

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Petty has multiple professional paths to follow. He will get future tryouts with NBA teams. He can play in the NBA’s G-League, working for an NBA shot. He will also have many opportunities to play professionally in other countries.