No player in this year’s NBA draft class has a wider variety of outcomes than Jonathan Kuminga.
The 18-year-old Congolese forward is about as raw a prospect as there is this year. He has all the physical tools to be an elite-level player, but he doesn’t really have enough refined skills to be anything close to a sure thing. That’s what makes Kuminga so perplexing as a projected high-end lottery pick and certainly why the Toronto Raptors, who have worked out the G League Ignite prospect, are keeping tabs on him.
At 6-foot-8, 210-pounds, Kuminga is already a full-grown man. He’s physically gifted like few others and he’s drawn high-end comparisons to players like Jaylen Brown and Danny Granger. But looking both at his stats and his tape there is a lot of room for improvement.
In 13 G League games this season, Kuminga shot just 38.7% with 24.6% three-point shooting and there are questions about his effort on the defensive end.
“There’s also some thought that his development may have plateaued to an extent, and questions remain about his overall feel on both ends,” Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo wrote. “Kuminga is likely to require patience, and there’s a bit more risk built in with him than other top prospects, but it’ll be hard to leave him on the board for too long on draft night.”
It certainly makes sense that the Raptors are taking a look at a high-upside prospect like Kuminga. At the very least, Kuminga is the kind of player that should be hoping a stable organization like Toronto selects him. The Raptors have a lengthy track record of making the most out of prospects like Kuminga. That being said, a player with defensive effort question marks who might be a few years away from being a difference-maker likely isn’t the direction the Raptors are looking to go with the No. 4 pick.