Projected lottery pick Jonathan Kuminga made a strong impression today in his first professional game, writes Brian Martin of the G League’s website. Playing for the G League Ignite, Kuminga registered 19 points, four assists, two rebounds and two blocks in 33 minutes. The 18-year-old also swatted away a shot in the final seconds to help the Ignite pick up a victory in their first-ever game.
“I wasn’t impressed because I see it every day in practice,” Ignite coach Brian Shaw said. “It’s what I expect; it’s what I see every day. He does a lot for us and you guys are just seeing the beginning of what he can do.”
Kuminga was considered one of the top high school players in the country, but he opted to develop his game in the G League rather than college basketball. He is projected as the fifth overall pick in the latest mock draft from ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz.
There’s more from the first day of G League action:
- Team Ignite’s Jalen Green, who is tabbed as the third selection by ESPN, also had a strong debut after overcoming a slow start, Martin adds in the same story. He finished with 11 points and five rebounds, but most of that came after halftime. “Jalen pressed a bit; he was trying too hard, which is natural,” Shaw said. “In having conversations with him about how other teams are gunning for him based on the attention he’s getting. I expect him to bounce back from this game and have a better game next game.”
- Center Udoka Azubuike, a first-round pick by the Jazz in November, was carried off the court on a stretcher after suffering a leg injury in today’s Salt Lake City Stars game, according to Brandon Judd of The Deseret News. No immediate details were provided on the severity of his injury. Azubuike appeared in 12 games for Utah before the G League season began.
- The odds are against Jeremy Lin returning to the NBA, no matter how he performs in the G League, contends Dieter Kurtenbach of The San Jose Mercury News. Lin had 18 points and five assists in his first game with the Santa Cruz Warriors, but he’s 32 and Kurtenbach notes that teams are more likely to take chances on younger players.