NBA Announces Four-Game Suspension For Joshua Primo

Former Spurs guard and current free agent Joshua Primo has been suspended for four games for conduct detrimental to the league, the NBA announced today in a press release (Twitter link).

Primo was waived by San Antonio last October due to allegations that he had exposed himself to women, including a sports psychologist who was employed by the Spurs. That employee filed suit against Primo and the Spurs last fall and settled a few weeks later.

The NBA’s announcement on Primo on Friday said that the league conducted its own investigation into the allegations against the former lottery pick.

“Following that process, the league found that Primo engaged in inappropriate and offensive behavior by exposing himself to women,” the league’s statement reads. “Primo maintains that his conduct was not intentional, and the league did not find evidence that he engaged in any sexual or other misconduct apart from these brief exposures. Nevertheless, this behavior does not conform to league standards and warrants discipline.”

Primo, who appeared in four games at the start of last season before being cut, didn’t catch on with another team following his release from the Spurs. However, unlike when the NBA suspended Miles Bridges, the league didn’t announce a longer suspension and rule that it would be reduced based on “time served” — Primo’s ban is simply for four games. Unlike Bridges, Primo earned a salary last season after being cut by San Antonio.

As Bobby Marks of ESPN notes (via Twitter), the NBA’s latest Collective Bargaining Agreement includes a new rule that allows players to serve their suspensions even when they’re not under contract with a team. That rule states that every one-and-a-half regular season games played by his most recent team is equivalent to one game served on the player’s suspension.

In this case, for example, three Spurs regular season games would count as two games toward Primo’s suspension. As such, even if Primo doesn’t sign a contract before the regular season begins, his suspension would be considered served after San Antonio’s sixth game of the season (on November 5) and he would be able to play immediately if he signed with any team after that point.

Under the previous CBA, Primo wouldn’t have been able to serve his four-game ban until he signed with a new team. As Marks explains (Twitter link), this rule change was made so that free agents facing multi-game suspensions wouldn’t be passed over indefinitely by NBA teams seeking players with immediate availability.

Primo, 20, was the 12th overall pick in the 2021 draft. He averaged 5.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 50 games (16 starts; 19.3 minutes per night) as a rookie, but struggled with efficiency, posting a .374/.307/.746 shooting slash line. He was the youngest player drafted in his class.

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