KEY POINTS

  • G League prospects Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga were selected No. 2 and No. 7 respectively
  • Green was the first high school player to take up the G League's offer
  • The G League's future will forever be tied to both players' careers

The 2021 NBA Draft has seen some budding stars drafted at where they were expected to be.

Cade Cunningham was selected by the Detroit Pistons first overall, and Jalen Green went second to the Houston Rockets.

The Cleveland Cavaliers got their wish at third with Evan Mobley, while Toronto selected Scottie Barnes with the fourth pick. 

On the other hand, the Orlando Magic drafted Jalen Suggs to round out the top five.

However, this draft also marks the G League’s best duo of prospects to enter the league in Green and Jonathan Kuminga, who went seventh to the Golden State Warriors.

For the uninitiated, the G League has been in existence since 2008 as a way for high-level prospects to enter the NBA other than taking the collegiate route.

Entering the G League also allows foreign players to prepare for the rigors that await them in the NBA, should they be drafted or signed to a contract to the most popular professional basketball league in the world.

The G League Ignite was created in April 2020 as an alternative to playing college basketball because they earn up to $500,000 if they decide to go that route.

With the NCAA moving to allow players to earn from their images and likenesses, the G League still remains an intriguing option because of the assured salary.

Green was the first person to join the G League Ignite followed by former college commits Isaiah Todd and Daishen Nix.

Jalen Green at the 2021 NBA Draft JULY 29: Jalen Green poses for photos on the red carpet during the 2021 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on July 29, 2021 in New York City. Photo: Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images

Filipino phenom Kai Sotto also joined the team early on but left the team as he wanted to represent his country during the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers, where he shined in the limited minutes given to him.

Green has been projected as the No. 1 prospect for some time, being seen as the 1b to Cunningham’s 1a.

But that doesn’t mean that he’s any less of a player than Cunningham.

Green has the perfect blend of athleticism, skill, and competitiveness that coaches love to see in younger players. 

Moreover, his development will be greatly expedited as he will be learning a lot from John Wall in his rookie year.

As for Kuminga, the Warriors are perfect for a young forward like him to grow as he will definitely benefit from the mentorship of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

He has a tendency to go tunnel vision when it comes to offense, taking shots against the flow of the offense. In, addition, he lacks a reliable jump shot.

His effort has been questioned in the past, all three of which he can improve on with the guidance of the three All-Stars.

It’s a no-brainer to think that both players are bound for greatness, but how great they can be in their rookie year will be important to watch out for.

The G League has done all they can to prepare the two highly-touted prospects, and its future success will be forever tied to what Kuminga and Green can do from here on out.

All eyes are now on Kuminga and Green.