Josh Primo to remain in NBA Draft, ending Alabama career; Jaden Shackelford in transfer portal

Cecil Hurt
The Tuscaloosa News

Alabama basketball guard Josh Primo, whose NBA Draft stock has been on the rise for most of the summer, told ESPN Wednesday night that he would remain in the draft and end his Crimson Tide career after one season. The Tuscaloosa News confirmed Primo’s decision with Alabama coach Nate Oats. 

Later in the evening, guard Jaden Shackelford announced he would explore his options in the NCAA transfer portal.

Oats, when asked about Primo, said the Alabama staff was “very excited at the opportunity he has.” 

“We are 100 percent behind helping guys achieve their dream," Oats said. "We had great conversations with him, his dad and his sister. They’re a great family. Josh helped us achieve one of the great seasons in Alabama history and he is always welcome here.” 

Oats anticipated the decision on Wednesday afternoon when he told Roger Hoover of CTSN that Primo “appeared to be playing his way into the first round” and that Alabama would use his possible selection in the first round as a recruiting point for future possible signees. 

Jan 23, 2021; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide guard Joshua Primo (11) shoots against Mississippi State Bulldogs during first half at Coleman Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Primo played in 30 games with 19 starts as a freshman last season. He is also one of the youngest players at the combine and intrigues some of the stronger teams at the end of the first round who aren’t looking for an immediate starter. He had a solid first scrimmage at the NBA Combine on Thursday and chose to sit out on Friday, perhaps due to confidence in his position.

Shackelford was the Crimson Tide's leading scorer during the 2020-2021 campaign, averaging 14 points over 33 games. He also averaged 3.8 rebounds and 2 assists while shooting 41% from the field on his way to earning second-team All-SEC honors. He told Jeff Goodman of Stadium that he was entering the portal. Oats did not comment immediately on Shackelford’s status. 

If Primo and Shackelford both depart, Alabama would have one available scholarship for the 2021-2022 season. 

Reach Cecil Hurt at or via Twitter @cecilhurt