G League Ignite forward Jonathan Kuminga looked sharp during a private workout with the Cavaliers this week, sources told Hoops Wire.
The Cavaliers own the No. 3 overall pick, and Kuminga is expected to be selected in the Nos. 4-6 range. But his workout left a strong impression.
Kuminga is 6-foot-8 and only 18-years old. He is viewed as someone who can defend multiple positions, an ultra-athletic wing with a big upside. He shot the ball well both at last month’s NBA Combine in Chicago and during his workout with the Cavs.
The Cavs found Kuminga to be soft-spoken, but very engaging and intelligent. In short, he had a good visit in Cleveland and helped himself.
Kuminga has also made it clear he would love to play for the Cavs. He has already spent plenty of time in Cleveland — as he worked out at Cleveland State University for a long stretch when the COVID-19 pandemic was at its height.
Along with all that, Kuminga held a pro day last month in Florida and a league source told Hoops Wire that he “killed it.”
He is one of two members of the Ignite expected to be drafted in the top five, joining guard Jalen Green, a likely top-two pick, perhaps behind only Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham.
Some opposing executives even have Kuminga rated above highly touted USC center Evan Mobley, meaning that, yes, Kuminga could be selected in the top three.
He played in 13 games for the Ignite in the G League bubble, averaging 15.8 points and 7.2 rebounds while proving to be the G League’s top defender. In the process, he produced four 20-point games and four double-doubles.
Both Cavs general manager Koby Altman and assistant GM Mike Gansey attended Kuminga’s pro day.
While the Cavs are expected to choose between whoever is left between Green, Mobley and Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs, many around the league consider Cleveland the lottery’s biggest mystery.
They have been exploring trades centered on guard Collin Sexton, the team’s leading scorer, as well as supposedly eyeing a few other deals, including some involving their draft pick. They have also been mentioned as a team that has spoken to the 76ers about available guard/forward Ben Simmons.
If the Cavs should keep their pick, Kuminga could potentially be the player who is considered the best fit, and a player who has all the needed NBA tools — athleticism, strong wing defense and a rising offensive game.
The NBA Draft will be held July 29 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.