Cavs 2021 NBA Draft: Could Jonathan Kuminga still be in play at #3?

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

It was fortunate for the Cleveland Cavaliers that they ended up landing the #3 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, as of the lottery on June 22.

No, the Cavaliers it wouldn’t seem could be in the mix realistically for Cade Cunningham, who would appear to very well be the #1 selection for the Detroit Pistons.

Albeit for Cleveland, they should be able to land a prospect such as Evan Mobley or Jalen Green at #3, both of whom could end up being superstar players in their own right.

Now, the Cavaliers could reportedly be open to trading their third overall pick, and salary matching for an established star, though. And in that case, while we’d have to see if it were to play out, another player that could potentially factor into a trade could be Collin Sexton, who the Cavs are reportedly exploring as far as trade possibilities.

A possible Sexton trade could maybe come down the road though if Cleveland were to take Green or Jalen Suggs, as an aside if they didn’t move the pick.

But if the Cavaliers were to eventually move Sexton, I personally would prefer for them at least see if a Darius Garland-Sexton-Green or Garland-Sexton-Suggs could work for stretches, and particularly in this case with Green, with how dynamic those trios could be. I obviously know that the 172-pound Green needs to get stronger, and he will, and at the other end, those three would be so tough to account for.

In a general sense though, while it’s not set at this point, it would seem that Mobley, Green or Suggs, barring a possible trade, are the most realistic prospects for Cleveland at #3 in the 2021 NBA Draft.

That said, while I do like him a lot, I wouldn’t imagine Scottie Barnes, in that spot, is that serious of a candidate in this sense.

So, how about Jonathan Kuminga there then for the Cavaliers?

We’ll examine if that’s seemingly a realistic possibility for the Cavs here in relation to Kuminga.

The key seller for Kuminga, who was a teammate of Green’s on the G League Ignite squad, is his two-way potential, defensive versatility on-ball and just in an overall sense, the sky high ceiling. Plus, the Cavs attended Kuminga’s Pro Day and they’ll host him for a private workout; Kuminga is said to be “in the No. 3 mix,” per a report from Chris Fedor of

Kuminga is a 6-foot-6, 210-pound wing that I do believe can play a decent amount at the 4 if he can keep getting stronger, but either way, could have more on-ball creation viability than Isaac Okoro and/or possibly be a starting 3 replacement for him with Okoro moving to the bench in that case.

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That said, Kuminga, while he is one of the best defensive prospects in this draft, and could end up being able to switch 1-4 if needed with a 7-foot wingspan and had a healthy 2.4 percent block rate with the G League Ignite, he’s still somewhat raw offensively.

Kuminga hit just 24.6 percent from three-point land in the G League bubble, and hit just 62.5 percent from the free throw line. Point being, the shot, while he’s reportedly made progress with that, is still a relative question mark for his NBA potential/outlook.

With that in mind, even with his driving abilities and the shot creation signs, both of which I don’t discount, and played a key role in him having 15.8 points per game in the G League bubble, the Cavaliers should be more on-board with Mobley or Green, I believe.

Mobley’s perimeter shot I do buy as far as the potential, and he has shown nice touch in other areas and with the playmaking abilities/feel he has, he’d make a difference for Cleveland game-to-game, from my perspective.

And in Green’s case, his three-level scoring should make him a key threat from the jump, and as we seemingly noted, also factoring in his off-ball viability/the transition possibilities, the Cavs would be wise to give him, Garland and Sexton ample chances. That’s before a potential trading of Sexton, as we touched on, in that realm.

So, circling back, although I’m personally higher on Kuminga than Suggs, with Suggs seemingly definitely in the conversation at #3 for Cleveland too, along with Mobley and Green, I don’t foresee Kuminga being that realistic of an option for the Cavs now. I’m not discounting Fedor’s report; Kuminga just doesn’t appear to be that likely compared to Mobley, Green and Suggs.

Could I be wrong? Sure, but Kuminga, while he’s only 18 still and has immense potential, especially if his shot gets more consistent, is likely not nearly as legitimate of an option as those three aforementioned prospects we last hit on.

Next. Cavs 2021 NBA Draft: 2 realistic expectations for potential Evan Mobley selection. dark

At #3, if the Cavs selected Kuminga in the 2021 NBA Draft, I’d be pretty surprised, quite frankly. He’s still fairly raw offensively, and the Cavaliers need more consistency game-to-game offensively than I’d think he’d provide in Year 1 at least.