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Spurs' Lonnie Walker IV gives his assessment of rookie Joshua Primo

"He's going to continue to get better and better," Walker IV said.

SAN ANTONIO — Spurs rookie Joshua Primo has 32 NBA games under his young belt with San Antonio and his teammate, Lonnie Walker IV, is liking what he's seeing from the rookie guard.

"He's terrific, in my opinion," Walker said.

Primo is averaging 15.7 minutes per game with San Antonio and averaging 4.8 points per game off 37-percent shooting.

However, for as much as he's seeing more time in a San Antonio uniform than an Austin Spurs uniform, Primo is still having his ups and downs as expected from a 19-year old professional player.

And he's currently going through a rough patch.

He fouled out against Miami in 16 minutes and in his last four outings, he's shot 2-12 from the field including 1-6 from the three-point line.

But that doesn't shake Primo's confidence and Walker is noticing it.

"He's young, he has a lot of confidence, he can shoot, he can play make," Walker said. "He's young, so he's still got growth to see what he's doing as a rookie."

Credit: AP
San Antonio Spurs guard Joshua Primo (11) drives to the basket against Brooklyn Nets forward Nic Claxton (33) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Jessie Alcheh)

Following the team's 2022 Rodeo Road Trip, he was assigned to Austin for a game against the Legends.

A move to likely keep him fresh, continue his NBA education, a chance for him to find his shooting stroke again and build up his confidence.

However, it was a rough outing as the young guard had seven turnovers, 4-19 shooting from the field, and 0-5 from the three-point line in 34 minutes. 

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This is normal for any rookie, let alone a teenager with just one college season trying to find his way in the league and adjusting for a long, arduous season.

But what he's done in his rookie season is catching Walker's eyes and admits Primo is ahead of his NBA-learning curve.

"I wasn't playing my rookie years, so I would say he is doing a lot better than me," Walker said. "So, it's only up from here. He's going to continue to get better and better and this is just the start."

What is impressing Walker the most is Primo's defense and rightfully so. 

He led the team in blocks in three games and on Dec. 7, 2021, he recorded four blocks and three steals against the Suns becoming the only two 18-year-olds ever in NBA history with 4-plus blocks and 3-plus steals in a game in league history.

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"He's a very well-rounded defender. He crawls up on people," said Walker. "He gets a couple of charges here and there."

There's plenty of room for growth for the rookie guard and there will be more valuable lessons ahead for Primo whether in Austin or San Antonio.

He'll have his shining moments and his stumbles but his development is the goal. 

Case in point when coach Gregg Popovich gave him a tough but valuable talk on the bench that'll sure stick with Primo.

RELATED: Spurs rookie Josh Primo is thankful for the fan support

And so far, the franchise's 2021 No. 12 pick is showing he has a tremendous upside which is leaving Walker impressed.

"He knows the assignment. He knows the game plan. He's not just there looking lost. He's within the team," said Walker. 

Said Walker: "He's within the game plan. He's doing what he has to do to get a rebound, get a stop, just playing the right way," he said.

Twitter: @KENS5, @JeffGSpursKENS5

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