The NBA is a summer league for year-round basketball players to be watched and analyzed by NBA front offices, scouts, coaches and fans worldwide. It is also a place where NBA hopefuls are drafted onto teams that can help them get noticed. Their initial expectation may be to play only a few minutes per game, but then it quickly becomes more than that. These young men have dreams of making professional careers for themselves in the NBA, and that is where they will get their opportunities to make a name for themselves.

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Jonathan Kuminga’s lengthy and convoluted journey has led him to the NBA Draft in 2021. Kuminga, on the other hand, aspires to be more than a highly touted draft prospect. He aspires to be one of the greatest players in the game’s history.

The Congolese talent chose to join with the newly created G League Ignite rather than continue his college career. Jalen Green, another Ignite star, is generating a lot of hype and is expected to be chosen ahead of Kuminga. Regardless, the 18-year-old has greater ambitions than a draft pick.

Kuminga aspires to be remembered in the same way as LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and James Harden are.

Jonathan Kuminga is expected to be one among the first selections in the NBA Draft in 2021.

Kuminga is attracting a lot of interest ahead of the selection on Thursday.

What sticks out the most is the scoring ability. In 13 games with Ignite, Kuminga averaged 15.8 points. He possesses good height and length, as well as explosive quickness, and may develop into a three-level scorer in the future.

The lack of efficiency is at the root of the question marks. According to NBA.com, Kuminga shot slightly over 38% from the field. With 5.0 three-point attempts per game, he shown a propensity to shoot from the outside. Kuminga, on the other hand, did not convert at a high rate, hitting just 24.6 percent of his triples.

There are a few key considerations to be addressed here. Kuminga got excellent experience playing against former NBA players and ambitious pros, for starters. He’s also just 18 years old, so he’s still quite raw.

LaMelo Ball’s efficiency and shooting were two major concerns heading into the 2020 NBA Draft, but he shot a solid 35.2 percent from outside the arc last season. After the All-Star break, No. 1 overall selection Anthony Edwards hit close to 35 percent from three-point range.

Young players mature and adapt as a result of their experiences. If Kuminga is still available at No. 7, a club like the Golden State Warriors may take advantage of his scoring potential.

Kuminga thinks he can be the same offensive power as three NBA greats, according to his G League coach.

Jonathan Kuminga recalls seeing Kobe Bryant as a kid.

July 23, 2021 — Derek Parker (@DParkOK)

Jonathan Kuminga grew up idolizing Kobe Bryant. He wants NBA scouts to know that he aspires to be just as excellent as Bryant and other legends of the game.

Kuminga has been dubbed a “monster” by a G League coach, who told The Athletic’s David Aldridge that the kid is eager to develop.

“[Kuminga] wants to be in the discussion with LeBron, Kobe, and Harden,” the coach told The Athletic. “He isn’t afraid of it in the least. He’s ready to fail, work harder, and fail again until he figures it out.”

Kuminga’s self-assurance seems to be admired by everyone in the G League. Kuminga’s grit (and a better jumper), according to one executive, could help him find success in the NBA.

According to The Athletic, the executive added, “He’s very confident, super athletic.” “Clearly, he’s a physical specimen. He’ll be a better shooter (in the NBA). He has a fantastic rotation. The shot seems a little flat (now). He needs to add a little arc to it…. He’s a bit closer to the hoop now, and all of a sudden he’s dunking that s**t. He’s a competent defender, in my opinion. I’ve seen him focus down on a target and protect it. He’s a competitor. I believe he is one of those self-assured young men. He believes he has a chance to make every shot.”

Kuminga has a long way to go before being compared to Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, or James Harden. That isn’t to say he won’t try all in his ability to meet his own standards.

What position will Kuminga take in the draft?

NBA draft hopeful Jonathan Kuminga shoots during a G League game

NBA draft hopeful Jonathan Kuminga shoots during a G League game Jonathan Kuminga is a top NBA Draft prospect for 2021 | Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

It’s almost time for Kuminga to get down to business.

The NBA draft in 2021 is less than 24 hours away, and clubs around the league are completing their draft boards and assessing the best prospects. Kuminga’s potential suggests he may reach No. 5, but his raw skill could also have an effect on his value.

Kuminga wants to be a superstar no matter where he ends up.

Unless otherwise stated, all stats are courtesy of Basketball Reference.

With his latest endorsement deal, Cade Cunningham is following in the footsteps of LeBron James, Michael Jordan, and a slew of other NBA stars.

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