Toronto's Joshua Primo was the first of two Canadians to be selected back-to-back in the first round of Thursday's NBA draft.

The 18-year-old guard from the University of Alabama was taken 12th overall by the San Antonio Spurs.

Chris Duarte of Montreal went one pick later when the Indiana Pacers selected the 24-year-old Oregon guard with the 13th pick, adding scoring punch off the bench.

Primo turned 18 on Dec. 24, 2020, making him the youngest player in NCAA's top division, while Duarte was the oldest player in the draft.

Primo played high school in West Virginia for one season before returning home to complete his prep career at Royal Crown Academic School.

The six-foot-six, 190-pound Primo was a 2020-21 SEC All-Freshman Team selection while averaging 8.1 points and 3.4 rebounds and shooting 43.1 per cent from the field for the Crimson Tide.

He represented Canada at the 2019 FIBA Under-19 Basketball World Cup as a 16-year-old.

Duarte averaged 17.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.9 steals in his second and final season with the Ducks.

The six-foot-six, 190-pounder possesses the kind of size the Pacers were looking to add to their backcourt.

Meanwhile, the Raptors went with homegrown talent and selected a third Canadian in the second round, grabbing Nebraska point guard Dalano Banton, who hails from Toronto.

The six-foot-nine, 204-pound Banton averaged 9.6 points per game while leading the Cornhuskers in both rebounding (5.9) and assists (3.9) per game.


This report by The Canadian press was first published July 29, 2021.