LAS VEGAS — Spurs’ Joshua Primo can do a bit of everything.
He can score. Make three-point shots. He can get to the rim with ease and show poise on the court.
But when it comes to his dribbling skills, Primo feels it deserves more attention.
“I think so. I think it's a big part of my game,” Primo said. “I don't get to show it off very much but I feel I am able to use my handle in order to get through different situations, make plays for my teammates, or score for myself.”
His handle and all-around skills were on full display during the Spurs’ Summer League loss to the Nets.
He used it to set himself up for mid-range shots, break down defenses en route to the lane, and set his teammates up for scoring opportunities.
His exceptional ball-handling skills might be overlooked but Primo admits it needs some fine-tuning and he chats about it with Coach Mitch Johnson.
“It's all really a mentality thing. We’ve been talking about it,” said Primo. “Just keeping it simple. Just use my speed. Be able to get off my defenders in one move and not play around too much.”
Said Primo: “Just being decisive with my moves and just attacking with aggression.”
The Spurs rookie’s array of talents is undeniable. He’s just scratching the surface as he transitions into the pro-level.
What’s ahead of him is much fine-tuning of his skills including his shifty ball handling.
“How does it translate and what does it translate at this level? He obviously can use both hands; he's very comfortable with the ball,” said coach Mitch Johnson. “He's very shifty and can change his speeds.”
In what capacity will the Spurs mold him into remains an open question. Will he be a primary ball-handler? Play off the ball? Or in today’s NBA era of position-less basketball, do a little bit of everything.
Either way, Primo is showing signs of tremendous upside on both ends of the court.
The teenager plays with poise and confidence. Beyond his dribbling skills, he has a skill set that Spurs will cultivate and be with him during his ups and downs.
“The kid is 18 and not close to turning 19,” Johnson said. “He's just going to have to go through some of these growing pains and learn this level and we're going to do it with him.”