Alabama basketball's Josh Primo has until July 7 to decide if he will stay in the 2021 NBA draft or return to Tuscaloosa for his sophomore season.
That decision seems like it is getting easier and easier with every passing day. Primo, the youngest prospect in the draft field, shined over the weekend at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago showcasing his skills in front of NBA front-office executives.
During the combine's 5-on-5 scrimmages, Primo shared with ESPN analyst Jay Bilas why he feels that the time is right to move on from the college ranks.
“It’s been a dream of mine for the longest time,” Primo told Bilas. “Since I can remember just being a kid, being a fan of the game, running up and down, dunking on my Little Tikes net as a 2-year old. I’ve always loved the game, and being able to be in this position right now while I’m young, I really wanna be able to learn at this level and learn to be in a winning franchise, be a part of a winning team and be at that highest level. I wanna compete at the highest level, and that’s always been a dream.”
Primo played in 30 games as a true freshman for the Crimson Tide, making 19 starts. The native Canadian was fifth in scoring with 8.1 points per game, while shooting 43 percent from the field and 38 percent from three-point range. He also averaged 3.4 rebounds and 0.8 assists.
“I think they took away that I’m not just a shooter,” Primo said of his performance at the NBA Draft Combine. “I think I showed a lot of that going into this, however, what I wanted to show is that I’m more than that. I can make plays for my teammates, I can make plays for myself going downhill and I can make plays on the defensive end, as well. Give energy to my teammates, that’s the biggest thing for me.”
Meanwhile, former Crimson Tide standouts Herbert Jones and John Petty Jr. did not perform in the 5-on-5 scrimmages but did however excel in the individual drills.
Jones' defensive prowess and ability is undisputed as the 2021 SEC Defensive Player and Player of the Year, but his offensive shot-making skills were put under the microscope this past week in Chicago.
"I think I can be an exceptional shooter," Jones told ESPN's Mike Schmitz. "I can keep guys honest. I have been working on it a ton. I've been getting my confidence up and getting more comfortable and seeing the ball go through the net a lot."
In Sports Illustrated's current mock draft, Primo is projected to go 37th overall to the Detroit Pistons and Jones is pegged 48th overall to the Atlanta Hawks.
The 2021 NBA draft will take place on July 29 from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y and will be broadcast on ESPN and ABC.