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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Jonathan Kuminga, Cleveland Cavaliers
G League Ignite wing/forward Jonathan Kuminga looks to finish on the interior. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

He’ll need to become more polished, but Kuminga could have star potential on-ball for the Cavs

Kuminga offensively is not a guy that’s necessarily a polished player. He hit only 38.7 percent of his shots overall and 24.6 percent of his 5.0 three-point attempts per outing in G League bubble run, and just 62.5 percent of his free throw attempts.

It’s evident that he’s not a player that’s going to be a floor spacing presence early on. He needs to further develop his shooting/at least spot-up capabilities in coming years. That’s a point of emphasis for him offensively, objectively.

However, Kuminga’s shot creation has come a long way, and he did have 15.8 points per outing as an 18-year-old against plenty of grown men in G League run, which should not be glossed over.

He did show plenty of flashes of on-ball creation even still while the perimeter shot is going to need to be developed in time, and as a driver, his quickness, explosion and solid handle led to him still getting buckets pretty consistently.

Kuminga, even at his size as a young player that projects as a 3/4, can self-create to get to spots in the mid-range via pull-ups and at times pull-backs, and demonstrated nice change-of-pace, which should enable him to get to the free throw line a good amount. I do believe as he gets comfortable, he’ll be considerably more efficient from there, too, for the record.

Along with the on-ball creation, and promising mid-post feel for Kuminga in the scoring sense, which could really aid Cleveland, Kuminga did show playmaking flashes in that G League bubble run.

A 2.7 assist-to-2.6 turnover ratio with the Ignite didn’t illuminate that, but the vision/improved feel was very encouraging. And while we’d have to see how he’d fit in regarding potential lineup construction throughout games, another secondary playmaking presence for Cleveland would be a plus, too.

I also do believe the turnover rate could be trimmed down with some mentorship from guys such as Larry Nance Jr. and/or perhaps Kevin Love to some extent, if he’s still around as well.

Moreover, though he is again far from a polished product, and the jump shot does need work, Kuminga is a tremendous athlete that is still so young, has shown plenty of promise on-ball as a scorer/driver and should continue to fill out as a 6-foot-8 wing/forward with defensive versatility.

Granted, I could foresee Kuminga coming off the bench a good amount of the time in his first season if the Cavs were to select him in the 2021 NBA Draft. That’s factoring in Isaac Okoro/perhaps Kevin Love/Nance, but his two-way potential is immense.

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That could very well be the rationale for them possibly drafting him this summer, and with his strength/athleticism/big-time upside, I’d understand that.