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NBA 2021 Draft Prospects: G League Ignite

By Jaiden Campana | July 13, 2021

After a historic season, four NBA G League Ignite prospects are prepared to enter the NBA Draft 2021 presented by State Farm on Thursday, July 29, at 8pm/et on ESPN/ABC.

Get to know more about Jalen Green, Jonathan Kuminga, Isaiah Todd, and Daishen Nix via NBA.com.

Jalen Green, Guard

Jalen Green is a lanky, exceptionally athletic guard whose improvement as a shot-maker shined for stretches during his season with the inaugural G League Ignite team.  Emerging as one of the top prospects in the high school class of 2020 early in his career thanks to his blend of explosiveness and upside as a scorer, Green earned gold medals at the 2017 FIBA U16 Americas Championship, 2018 FIBA U17 World Championship, and 2019 FIBA U19 World Championship before capping his prep career at Prolific Prep Academy (CA) with McDonald’s All-American honors.  Opting to become the first player ever to join the G League Ignite instead of playing a year of college basketball, the California native weathered uncharted waters last season.  Despite the unique circumstances, he averaged 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game in the bubble to key Head Coach Brian Shaw’s team to a postseason appearance.

• Listed at 6-foot-6 with a wiry 178-pound frame to go along with a 6-foot-7 wingspan, Green has good size for a shooting guard.  Even if lacks a degree of physical strength, his unique combination of speed and effortless explosiveness has long made him an electric finisher in the open floor and an increasingly dynamic shot creator as his floor game has matured in recent years.

• Playing both on and off the ball alongside veteran NBA points guards Bobby Brown and Jarrett Jack, Green nonetheless had significant freedom to look for his own shot off the dribble serving as the Ignite’s first option.  While his lack of physicality played against him in spots, he gained experience executing in a pro-style offense, created separation impressively with his first step, and showed the ability to make pull-up 3’s with solid consistency and sharp footwork.  Thriving in transition thanks to his athleticism and instincts but leaning on his pull-up jump shot in the half court, Green made clear strides as a scorer in his first season at the professional level, but still has significant upside as his frame and game mature.

• Learning on the job defensively in a shortened season, Green had some solid stretches against more seasoned competition.  While he gave up strength in many matchups defending both guard spots and his consistency remains a work in progress, his quickness was a factor on the ball and in the passing lanes.

Read more about Green’s advanced stats and defensive analysis by Synergy Sports here.

Jonathan Kuminga, Forward

Jonathan Kuminga is a strong, aggressive forward who showed glimpses of his potential as an explosive scorer as a member of the inaugural G League Ignite team. Born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kuminga moved to the United States in 2016.  Emerging as one of the top prospects in the high school class of 2021 early in his prep career which included stops at Huntington Prep (WV), Our Savior New American School (NY), and The Patrick School (NJ), Kuminga opted to reclassify and join the G League Ignite program instead of playing a year of college basketball. The 18-year-old forward averaged 15.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game in the G League putting together several impressive performances to help Head Coach Brian Shaw’s team to a postseason appearance.

• Listed at 6-foot-8 with a powerful 210-pound frame to go along with a 6-foot-11 wingspan, Kuminga has terrific size for a wing, the physicality to play some power forward, and the explosiveness to offer mismatch potential at either spot long-term.

• Spending time shifting between the forward spots last season, Kuminga put points on the board in a variety of ways in a featured role. An aggressive scorer with a strong first step, good body control, and developing touch from the perimeter, he had some impressive flashes as he created one-on-one in the post and from the wings, helped space the floor, and hunted opportunities around the rim. Showing promising instincts creating separation and scoring in bunches when his shot was falling, the young forward was not particularly efficient. He nonetheless offered some glimpses into what kind of player his talent and athleticism could allow him to grow into as his game matures.

• Possessing excellent tools defensively with an NBA-ready frame to go along with good quickness, Kuminga had some terrific moments guarding on the ball and competing for rebounds last season but is still learning how to make the most of his versatility consistently.

Read more about Kuminga’s advanced stats and defensive analysis by Synergy Sports here.

Isaiah Todd, Forward

Isaiah Todd is an athletic forward who showed significant promise as a floor spacer and defender with the inaugural G League Ignite team.  Emerging as one of the top prospects in the high school class of 2020 early in his prep career which included stops at John Marshall High School (VA), Trinity Academy (NC), and Word of God Christian Academy (NC), Todd was selected to play in the McDonald’s All-American Game and Jordan Brand Classic as a senior.  Opting to join the G League Ignite team in lieu of spending a season in college, Todd carved out a key reserve role for Brian Shaw’s team averaging 12.3 points and 4.9 rebounds.

• Listed at 6-foot-10 with an improving 210-pound frame to go along with a 7-foot-1 wingspan, Todd has good size for a forward and an intriguing combination of mobility and explosiveness.

• Serving primarily as a jump shooter coming off the bench but getting some touches in the post as well, Todd had several strong offensive efforts in the G League bubble when he found his range early in games.  Finding a comfort level with the NBA three-point line and flashing some ability to rise into midrange jumpers off screens, he made clear strides as a shooter in his lone season in the G League and finished emphatically on the move as well.

• Competing with good energy on the defend end, Todd, like most young forwards, has some things to clean up off the ball, but showed intriguing potential with his combination of length and mobility.

Read more about Todd’s advanced stats and defensive analysis by Synergy Sports here.

Daishen Nix, Guard

Daishen Nix is a strong lead guard who showed a budding feel for creating for others off the dribble with the inaugural G League Ignite team.  Rising to rank among the top-20 prospects in the high school class of 2020 by the end of his senior year at Trinity International High School (NV), the Alaska native was named a McDonald’s All-American.  Opting to join the G League Ignite team in lieu of spending a season in college, Nix carved out a key reserve role for Brian Shaw’s team averaging 8.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game.

• Listed at 6’5 with a 230-pound frame, Nix is a strong guard with good size for a primary ball handler who is more adept at changing speeds and using his strength than he is particularly explosive.

• Coming off the bench to play primarily on the ball alongside the G League Ignite team’s NBA veteran combo guards, Nix had some ups and downs looking for his own offense, but showed some ability and instincts as a facilitator.  An unselfish passer who had some impressive moments using his physicality to manipulate defenders and create easy shots for teammates, he is a plus passer who is still figuring out how to keep defenders honest to maximize his playmaking ability.

• Looking more comfortable guarding bigger guards than dynamic shot creators, Nix showed some intensity on the defensive end of the floor in spurts in his first season player at a high level but has room to improve his consistency and frame.

Read more about Nix’s advanced stats and defensive analysis by Synergy Sports here.