Jonathan Kuminga Opts For G League Professional Path

8:52pm: Kuminga’s deal is expected to be in the $500K range, tweets Charania.

8:35pm: 17-year-old forward Jonathan Kuminga has decided to forgo college and will take the NBA G League professional path for the 2020/21 season, reports Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com (Twitter link). Kuminga confirmed the decision to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Kuminga is one of the top prospects in the 2020 recruiting class, ranking fourth overall on ESPN’s list, — he also comes in at No. 4 on ESPN’s early 2021 mock draft. He becomes the fifth notable prospect to opt to join the G League’s new Select Team — No. 1 recruit Jalen Green will also be part of that squad, as will Daishen Nix, Isaiah Todd, and Kai Sotto.

[RELATED: G League Development Program Revamped, Includes $500K Salaries]

The 6’8″ Kuminga announced on social media last week that he would reveal his decision this Thursday, but ended up doing so a day early.

A native of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kuminga attended The Patrick School in Elizabeth, N.J. He had narrowed his college options to Auburn, Duke, Kentucky and Texas Tech, but was always considered a good bet to go the G League route. He’ll be eligible to enter the draft as early as 2021.

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9 thoughts on “Jonathan Kuminga Opts For G League Professional Path

  1. mcmillankmm

    Probably not a bad idea the way the NCAA season is looking for 20-21 but I question whether the G League select team will get as much press and hype as playing at top schools that are on ESPN twice a week

      • hiflew

        No it doesn’t. Getting your name out there is more important because you can use college to build your brand and sign a shoe deal worth far more than $500,000 before you even get drafted. These guys might be big names in high school, but that’s going to be meaningless in the G League where the average fan couldn’t even tell you who the MVP of the league was last season. Heck, most fans couldn’t even name 5 teams in the G League. Playing at Kentucky or Duke or North Carolina or Kansas even for just one year will get you more attention than any amount of time in the G League. That attention, if you are actually a good player, would be worth far more than whatever money they earn in the G League this year.

        And even if you fail in the NBA, these college players are heroes for life in Durham, Lexington, Chapel Hill, or whatever college town they attend. That can basically give you a lucrative job for life as a local TV spokesman for car lots or whatever. If you fail in the G League, you are a high school graduate that probably can’t even get into college, likely playing for $40,000 a year in Indonesia or Turkey or somewhere. That $500,000 will not last long to someone without an education and living an NBA lifestyle.

        College is just the safer bet all around.

        • I give no fox

          Per the article, this guy is projected top 5 pick. His draft status alone will give him a good shoe deal and a life changing amount of guaranteed money. These are elite of elite prospects, not some 4 year walk on that became local legends. If they are one and dones, I doubt any of them are going to cash in on their “hero” status to endorse JimBob’s Mattress Emporium after their playing days. You also miss out on several international leagues that pay well over 40k a year. Colleges should be concerned if this pans out. I imagine most players would go this route over the charade of getting an “education”. The NBA has every reason to want this to succeed as well.

          • El Don

            @ I give no fox
            Sir you couldn’t be more right!!! Everything you say is so very true! Why on earth would a guy chose to waste a year of their life in college when they can be raking in the money? A lot of people might need a lifetime to make that sort of money he can make in just one year as a teenager.
            Show me the money is always the way!

          • hiflew

            I think you are a little misinformed on how many “elite of elite prospects” actually pan out. Let’s take a look at some of the top 5 HS propsects from a few years back and see how they have panned out

            2014 Top 5 – Jahlil Okafor, Emmanuel Mudiay, Stanley Johnson, Cliff Alexander, Karl-Anthony Towns

            Only one of those became a star. The rest are bit players at best. And 1 never even made the NBA. So I have a feeling that 4 of those guys will not make enough money to never have to work again. Sure they have “made” 12-15 million each, but over half of that went to taxes, 10% went to agent fees, and who knows how much went to managers and other hangers on. Not to mention the NBA lifestyle is not a cheap one.

            As far as not cashing in, that’s just silly. It doesn’t have to be something as piddly as a mattress store. It can be something lucrative like a TV analyst for college basketball or owning car lots or restaurants. There are lots of those jobs around and they usually only give them to former college players.

            Finally, education is not a charade. If someone chooses not to take advantage of the opportunity of a free education, that’s on them not the education.

            But there is really no point in continuing to argue because we both have our minds made up already. Good luck to you.

            • To a 17 year old, having a chance to earn $500,000 guaranteed while being able to focus solely on basketball is much more enticing than getting one year of a college education and being able to “own car lots”. Also I’m sure the NBA has set up plenty of opportunities to televise the select G-league team. Additionally, the G-league is a much higher level of competition than the average college circuit, not to mention the high availability of development coaches and experienced veterans around them. There’s a reason these players are choosing the G-league over college, and it’s because it’s the smarter option. For guys that care about playing basketball, instead of being “college town heroes” it’s the right choice.

              • mcmillankmm

                I don’t think it’s the smarter option…Zion is the clear case to argue for attending college even if only for 9 months….he never would have gotten the hype playing in the G League at 5:30 ET on the NBA network…

            • I give no fox

              Hiflew, how is my mind made up? I made one single comment to point out the giant holes in your comment. If you want to actually debate, you should probably allow for more than 1 comment to pass judgement. Additionally, you don’t need to be a super star to make life altering money. It’s interesting that you cherry picked 2014. Regardless, even 10 million in career earnings is life changing. No matter how you try to tear down that argument by hypothesizing that all players give away all their money to managers and “hangers on” and whatever you mean by nba lifestyle. Just like you say it’s their choice to not get an education, Its their choice to blow their money. If they walk away with even 10% of their salary, and we know they definitely take home more than that, that would be $1 million, that is life altering money unless you are already a multimillionaire. As for education, you know what I meant. These kids are one and dones, they aren’t getting an education. Do you remember the bs classes you had to take as a freshman? It’s a charade to call these kids student athletes. Any school that signs a one and done player is not interested in educating the kid, they are interested in making tournament money. And do you know what else life altering money can buy? An education. Just because they don’t play college ball doesn’t mean they can’t go to school

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