Spurs waive 2021 lottery pick Joshua Primo, who says he is focusing on 'mental health treatment'

Joshua Primo is out in San Antonio.

The Spurs announced on Friday night that they had waived Primo, who they used the No. 12 overall pick on in last year's draft.

"It is our hope that, in the long run, this decision will serve the best interest of both the organization and Joshua," Spurs CEO RC Buford said in a brief statement.

The Spurs did not elaborate on why they opted to waive Primo — who, now 19, was the youngest player selected in the 2021 draft. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich quickly shut down any questions about the decision on Friday night ahead of their game with the Chicago Bulls.

"Have you all gotten the statement we've made?" Popovich said, via the San Antonio Express News' Tom Orsborn. "That's all I choose to say about that right now. We are just going to stick with what we told you all."

Primo, however, said in a statement to ESPN that he would be "seeking help to deal with previous trauma I suffered and will now take this time to focus on my mental health treatment more fully."

The Spurs used the third-year team option on Primo earlier this month, meaning he is under contract for $4.1 million next season and $4.3 million in 2023-24.

Primo averaged 5.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 50 games, mostly off the bench, as a rookie last season. He had averaged seven points and 4.5 assists in the Spurs' first four games of the season.

Primo did not play in Wednesday's 134-122 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, which snapped a three-game win streak for San Antonio.

While it's unclear what trauma Primo is referring to or what specifically led to the decision to release him, seeing a lottery pick cut just four games into his second season with a franchise is certainly unusual.

San Antonio Spurs guard Joshua Primo
The Spurs suddenly waived Joshua Primo, their 2021 first round pick, on Friday afternoon. (AP/Abbie Parr) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)