2021 NBA Draft: Warriors should pounce if Jonathan Kuminga drops

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NBC Sports Bay Area 20 July, 2021 - 08:23pm 3 views

When is the NBA Draft 2021?

The 2021 NBA Draft is set for Thursday, July 29 at 8:00 p.m. ET at the Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets. NBA CA2021 NBA Draft: Key prospects to know in the mid- to late-lottery range

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Jalen Johnson 2021 NBA draft scouting report: What he’ll bring to the league

cleveland.com 21 July, 2021 - 08:00am

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Duke forward Jalen Johnson is one of the more divisive players in the upper part of the 2021 NBA Draft.

The 6-foot-9 freshman’s talent and potential are undeniable. But there are plenty of concerns attached to Johnson, particularly the fact that he left Duke before the end of the season.

Johnson is the latest player we’re featuring in a series of capsules where you’ll get to know the top prospects in the 2021 NBA Draft from the elite players to the late-lottery sleepers.

11.2 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.2 blocks, 1.2 steals, 52.3 field goal percentage, 44.4 three-point percentage, 63.2 free-throw percentage.

Watch some highlights of Johnson.

“There are a few orange flags with Johnson, as he missed most of his senior year of high school after transferring schools, was sidelined with a foot injury during his time at Duke and then left the program before the end of the season. … Despite these concerns, Johnson is still a big time prospect. His length and athleticism allow him to defend multiple positions and he’s a high level rebounder who can hold is own in the paint. His rebounding translated early in his Duke career and his overall strength and athleticism really stood out.” — NBADraftRoom.com.

Playmaking is his best skill. Delivers an accurate ball off the bounce and has great court awareness. Would have averaged far more assists if his Duke teammates hit shots. … Has great open-floor speed and athleticism. If his jumper develops, he could thrive in the pick-and-roll, as he has the height to see over the defense and make passes smaller players can’t. … Ineffective shooter with stiff mechanics. Hit more than half his shots off the catch, but his form, low free-throw percentage, and lack of success shooting at lower levels doesn’t inspire much confidence in his potential.” — The Ringer.

Because of his decision to leave Duke early, Johnson is one of the draft’s mystery men, viewed as a polarizing prospect with a wide selection range. Some view him as a worthy investment in the top 10. Others question whether he even belongs in the lottery. A playmaking forward with speed and athleticism to pressure the rim, Johnson is at his best attacking in transition. His jumper is inconsistent. His halfcourt game needs work. He can shy away from contact inside. He had an alarming turnover rate, committing 2.5 per game in 21.2 minutes. There are also legitimate questions about his commitment level after leaving IMG Academy in high school and then halting his college career after just 13 games. Still, the natural talent can’t be ignored -- and given the other options in the middle of the first round, Johnson is worth a swing.

Cleveland.com’s Matt Goul has Johnson going with the No. 15 pick to the Wizards in his latest NBA mock draft. Here is what he said about Johnson:

“Johnson interviewed with the Wizards last month at the combine and fits a roster that is dominated by Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal. He is arguably the top prospect available at this point and could be a polarizing player as a draft night decision.”

Picking exactly where Johnson goes is tricky. He’s one of the only prospects in the top part of the draft with character questions. There are also legitimate questions about how good of a shooter he can be.

Teams will always take a chance on athletic players in drafts. So somewhere in the lottery section fits. It all depends on which teams are comfortable with drafting him.

Johnson falls short of being worth the No. 3 pick. But even if the Cavaliers were in position to take him, Johnson doesn’t seem like a good choice, even if you look past the character questions.

There are questions about his potential as a shooter. He shot 44.4 percent from three-point range, but only took 18 attempts at Duke. The Cavaliers need players who can hit the outside shot at this point in their rebuild. That’s not what Johnson does best, and that’s why he might not fit what they need.

* Michigan SF Franz Wagner

* Turkish C Alperen Sengun

* Gonzaga PG Jalen Suggs

* G-League Ignite G Jalen Green

* Tennessee F Keon Johnson

* G-League Ignite F Jonathan Kuminga

* Texas PF/C Kai Jones

* Baylor PG Davion Mitchell

* Gonzaga F Corey Kispert

* USC C Evan Mobley

* Florida State F Scottie Barnes

* Australian G Josh Giddey

* Oklahoma State G/F Cade Cunningham

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NBA Mock Draft: Thunder Play it Safe, Then Gamble with 16th and 18th Picks

Sports Illustrated 21 July, 2021 - 07:00am

The Ringer’s Kevin O’Conner recently updated his NBA Draft big board, with plenty of prospects rising and falling even just days away.

The likes of James Bouknight, Cameron Johnson, and others have surged ahead on O’Conners board, leaving plenty of valuable prospects for the Thunder to nab at No. 16 and 18.

At 16th, O’Conner has Keon Johnson, who was previously ranked a mid-lottery talent.

Johnson is a tantalizing athlete. At just19-years-old, Johnson has plenty of room to grow, and has already shown promise as a defender. He’s got plenty of winning qualities, and should his offense continue developing at the professional level, he’ll be a valuable contributor.

Weeks ago, Johnson was a prospect for OKC to consider with the sixth overall pick. At No. 16, he’s a no-brainer.

At No. 18, O’Conner has big man Kai Jones, potentially the most interesting prospect in the draft.

A backup center who played a limited role behind Greg Brown at Texas, Jones is as raw as they come. He got a late start in basketball, but is already 20-years-old. Truthfully, even his stats are lackluster.

Positives include defensive instincts and incredible athleticism, both of which NBA scouts hope he can grow into with professional development. A quick, mobile center, Jones could very well grow into the center of the future.

Jones is the gamble of all gambles, but could reap great rewards if Oklahoma City was to lean into his development.

The NBA Draft takes place on Thursday, July 29 at 7:30 p.m.

Magic Welcome Jonathan Kuminga to Amway Center for Pre-Draft Workout | Orlando Magic

OrlandoMagic.com 20 July, 2021 - 02:00pm

ORLANDO - The Orlando Magic worked out 2021 NBA Draft prospect Jonathan Kuminga, a 6-foot-8, 210-pound versatile forward, on Tuesday at Amway Center. This was the third publicized in-person pre-draft workout the Magic have held at their practice facility, with Gonzaga’s Corey Kispert and Florida State’s Scottie Barnes being the other two.

Kuminga, who played for the G League Ignite last season inside the Disney bubble, will bring a unique set of skills to whichever team he lands with. Physical, strong and athletic with advanced footwork, he has the ability to guard multiple positions and make an impact on the offensive end with his aggressive approach.

Playing alongside Jalen Green, another projected high draft pick this year, Kuminga received excellent instruction and guidance while playing under former Magic player Brian Shaw for the Ignite. The G League created this program to help prospects prepare for the NBA Draft and develop professional life skills.

“I grew a lot. Not just as a basketball player, mostly as a person,” he said. “Just being around the veterans (such as) Jarrett Jack, Amir Johnson. I feel like I gained a lot. I learned how to be around these types of people (seasoned pros), especially going into the NBA (because) I’m going to be one of the youngest players. So, I feel like I’ll bring more leadership, just from seeing how Jarrett Jack takes care of himself and everybody on the team.”

On the court, it was an up and down campaign for the 18-year-old, who averaged 15.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 13 regular season games. While he showed flashes of what makes him such an intriguing prospect, he did struggle with his shooting, making just 38.7 percent of his shot attempts overall, 24.6 percent of his 3-point tries and 62.5 percent of his free throws.

After the G League season ended, he went to Miami where he trained, worked on his craft and watched game film to prepare for the draft.

“I feel like I’m showing (that) I am way better now ,” he said. “Being more consistent on every little aspect that I do on the court. Fixing the little things that I really needed to correct and I think since then I’ve been ready and I think I’ve been doing really good on my workouts. I feel like I got better.”

Kuminga moved to the United States from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, his birthplace, a few years ago to play high school basketball. He started at Huntington Prep in West Virginia, transferred to Our Savior New American in New York for his sophomore year and then finished up at The Patrick School in New Jersey, the school Kyrie Irving starred at before going to Duke.

One of the top recruits in the nation, he had offers from several big-time universities, including Duke, Kentucky and Auburn, before committing to play in the G League.

Most online mock drafts have Kuminga going somewhere in the top six. The Magic own the No. 5 and No. 8 overall picks in the first round.

Other teams Kuminga says he has worked out for are the Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto Raptors and the Oklahoma City Thunder. He says he has an upcoming workout scheduled with the Golden State Warriors.

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