Cavs draft: Two-way potential is key seller for Jonathan Kuminga

G League Ignite wing Jonathan Kuminga drives. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
G League Ignite wing Jonathan Kuminga drives. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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Koby Altman, Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman (center) sits courtside in the fourth quarter of a Cleveland game versus the Charlotte Hornets. (Photo by David Richard-USA TODAY Sports) /

Kuminga would project as an impact multi-positional defender for the Cavs

Kuminga feasibly projects as a 6-foot-8, 210-pound 3/4, depending on some lineup construction for perspective teams, and his capabilities defensively popped in his G League bubble run with his aforementioned Ignite squad.

And for context, though Kuminga has been listed at 6-foot-6 on the G League’s website, most reports/scouting reports have him listed at 6-foot-8, and with his athleticism/above-rim abilities, size shouldn’t be an issue looking onward. A 6-foot-11 wingspan aids him as well.

Kuminga, though only listed at 210 currently, is very put-together at that size for a player that won’t even be 19 until October, and his physicality pops defensively. While it will take some time for him to likely fill out further over the next few years, he still could be highly capable even against bigger wings and plenty of 4s with his sturdy build, even at just 18 still.

He does a solid job at deterring drivers as well, and with good feel to know where his help is, often contains on-ball threats to deter pull-up threats and if needed, is quick enough to recover to beat drivers to their preferred spots.

That’s realistically in matchups 2-4, and against some lead guards, Kuminga, who is fluid for a guy who projects as a 3/4, still is very comfortable at containing and keeping front, then can use his length to contest.

In terms of the team defensive aspect, Kuminga has great timing for a young player as a rotational presence at the rim. There, he can block shots/alter looks inside and he also does a nice job of getting into passing lanes leading to deflections/takeaways.

His block rate of 2.4 percent in 13 games in the G League bubble jumps out, and his defensive abilities as a rotator/shot altering presence were often on display there and in AAU run in the Nike EYBL in games with the NY Rens.

And in coming years, if general manager Koby Altman and the Cavs were to select him in the 2021 NBA Draft, Kuminga’s defensive abilities could make a difference in a variety of matchups and aid others such as Darius Garland, Collin Sexton and Jarrett Allen.

Plus, also in terms of helping others, Kuminga’s 7.2 rebounds per game overall with the Ignite (6.0 defensive) show he’d help close out defensive possessions.

So how about the other end, then? We’ll get into that next, and how Kuminga could be a big-time on-ball threat in the near future for Cleveland if he can keep developing as a driving/shot creating presence.