Welcome to the final days of the NBA preseason. A couple of San Antonio Spurs transactions of note came down the wire early this week as the roster takes shape. With one game left in the preseason before the season begins, here’s what went down with the latest Spurs transactions and injuries.
San Antonio Spurs Release Tommy Kuhse
First, the Spurs announced their first cut of the NBA preseason, releasing guard Tommy Kuhse on Monday morning. Kuhse joined the team on a training camp contract in August as the Spurs pursued depth options in the back-court. Shortly after that, the team shared that forward/center Zach Collins has been diagnosed with a concussion.
A long shot to make the 17-man roster, Kuhse’s stint with San Antonio was the latest chapter in a wild success story. He appeared in two of the team’s first three preseason games, recording one coach’s decision DNP. His best performance was his last with the team, playing late in the contest against the New Orleans Pelicans. Kuhse scored six points, both from beyond the arc. For the preseason, he connected on 41 percent of his shot attempts. Kuhse averaged five points in just seven minutes on the floor.
Spurs Send Zach Collins to Injury Report, Diagnosed With a Concussion
With the season quickly approaching, the Spurs could be without forward/center Zach Collins for the rest of the preseason. Following Sunday’s loss to the Pelicans, Collins was diagnosed with a concussion and entered the NBA’s concussion protocol. In order to return, the sixth-year big must first pass the exertion test, followed by the neurological examination. There is no exact time frame for return.
Jakob Poeltl returned to the lineup on Tuesday night after taking a rest day on Sunday. Aside from him, Collins is one of the few players with “center” in their job description. That leaves head coach Gregg Popovich with some interesting decisions to make in the final preseason game. Veteran Gorgui Dieng seemed to fill the role well against Utah.
San Antonio Exercises Team Options on Devin Vassell and Josh Primo
Two of the franchise’s promising young players, Devin Vassell and Josh Primo saw the Spurs pick up their third and fourth-year options on Primo and Vassell respectively. As Project Spurs’ Paul Garcia reported, the moves came early as the team had until the end of the month to exercise the options. Per Spotrac, Vassell will earn $5.88 million guaranteed in 2023-2024, while Primo will pull $4.34 million in what will be his third season that year. Both players are on their rookie deals, and Primo will have one more club option available to the Spurs in 2024-2025.
Keldon Johnson and Primo Return From Spurs Injury Report
Spurs fans haven’t gotten to see Keldon Johnson in action this fall, and only got a glimpse of Primo in his second season for a brief moment in the NBA Summer League. Johnson was diagnosed with a dislocated shoulder just before training camp started in September. Primo quickly followed him to the sidelines with a sprained MCL.
Both players saw action in Tuesday night’s contest with the Jazz, delivering strong performances. Johnson scored 22 points with five assists and two rebounds in 22 minutes on the court from the starting lineup. Celebrating his 23rd birthday, “Big Body” came through big, connecting on four of his five attempts from beyond the arc. In 18 minutes off the bench, Primo put up 10 points in a frustrating performance with four turnovers and committing three fouls.
San Antonio Signs Then Waives Chaundee Brown Jr.
In a transaction that flew under most radars, the Austin Spurs acquired Chaundee Brown Jr. from the South Bay Lakers, as well as his G League returning player rights. Brown is an interesting prospect who started last season with Los Angeles on a two-way contract. He’s a likely candidate to play with Austin in the G League this season if he doesn’t sign with another team.