In this Jonathan Kuminga NBA Draft Profile, with the G-League as an alternative to high school players, more and more are taking that route instead of college. One of them from the class of 2020 is Jonathan Kuminga, who not only chose to reclassify, but also chose to go to the G-League over the likes of Duke, Texas Tech, Auburn, and Kentucky. He joined the likes of Jalen Green, Isaiah Todd, and Daishen Nix in skipping college and going to the G-League. Kuminga is consistently being ranked as a top player in this class and is receiving rave reviews from scouts. So let’s take a look at his game and see if the hype is real.
Strengths: Versatility and Defense
Jonathan Kuminga is a 6-8 forward with a 7 for wingspan, having great length, athleticism, and drive. Rebounding is also another area where Kuminga excels, ripping down boards with ease and driving up the floor with no problem. Jonathan has a knack for going up and pulling down rebounds against almost anyone. He is also quite quick and has great lateral quickness, allowing him to keep in front of almost anyone. His height and strength will allow him to take on taller and stronger players when switched onto another player or playing coverage. Many scouts agree his body is “NBA Ready”, a term which is not something you hear about too many prospects with Kuminga’s traits. Kuminga has the tools to be a premier defensive wing, who can use all the tools he has to excel at the NBA level.
Jonathan Kuminga will be turning 19 once the next NBA season starts. That is quite incredible with how much praise and hype Kuminga is receiving. In his only season, he certainly earned it, averaging 15.8 points per game, 7.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1 steal a game. There has been a lot of praise for Kuminga scoring and defending on the bounce, being able to beat or force his way through to the rim. In transition, he has been great at getting to the right spots and making the right moves to score or defend. Kuminga has the skill sets that a lot of NBA teams are looking for with today’s game. The switchability, versatility, and upside that Kuminga brings to the table will be something teams in this year’s draft will not be able to resist.
Weaknesses: Still a Work in Progress
While the huge amount of upside is drawing teams to him, Kuminga is still not a complete player. His outside shot is something that will need some work. Kuminga also has a habit of taking contested or hard shots that drag his shooting percentages down. He can also be a black hole at times while ball handling, getting tunnel vision, and making rash decisions. Either he will take a bad shot or cough up the ball. He will try to force the issue rather than bail out and reset. Decision-making is not one of his strong suits, but he does have a good basketball IQ. A lack of focus or inexperience may be the problem. There have also been questions about his effort, especially on the defensive end of the floor.
Shooting and Consistency
As mentioned in the last paragraph, Kuminga has an issue with consistency. He’s inconsistent with performance on both ends of the floor, despite the tools he has. One of his biggest issues outside of inconsistency is shooting. Jonathan as said has a habit of taking contested or bad shots. His shooting mechanics are alright, but the ball still does not go into the net with any consistency. Kuminga’s percentages were 38.7%, 24.6%, and 62.5%, a line that will make any basketball fan shudder. This brings up the question of whether it is coaching, decision making, or the system that holds Kuminga’s shooting back. Going to the NBA he might see higher percentages, but to become a consistent threat from outside he will need some work.
NBA Comparison: Jaylen Brown
If Jonathan Kuminga turns into a Jaylen Brown-like player, I assume whoever drafts him will be thrilled. Brown is a player who like Kuminga, had all the tools and potential coming into the draft. Thankfully for Celtics fans, Brown has become one of the best wings in the league, making his first all-star team this past season. Both excel at defense and are quite versatile, but also had questions about consistency and shooting. Brown has put most of those questions to bed, but Kuminga remains to be seen. Like with Brown, it will take Kuminga going to the right team with the right coaching and system to develop into an all-star. Fans will need to be patient with Kuminga like Brown and take their time to see how things develop.
This has been Def Pen’s Jonathan Kuminga NBA Draft Profile. Check out our other 2021 NBA Draft Profiles for more reports on this year’s best players.