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Ranking the Contenders: Jonathan Kuminga

Jon Kuminga is the top-rated prospect in the 2021 class across the industry. He cemented his standing as the best last summer with a tremendous run on the Nike EYBL circuit, only for his game to take off even further during the high school season thanks to the size, versatility, toughness and production.

Kuminga has slowly edged towards his college decision and, in doing so, a reclassification into the 2020 class. Such a move is expected to be made in the coming weeks but, in the meantime, Kuminga must also decide where he would like to spend his time between high school and the NBA.

Last month, he announced his finalists - Auburn, Duke, Kentucky and Texas Tech and the G League. There is really nothing stopping Kuminga from making his college decision today but, with no real rush, there is no better time to look at who has the best chance with Kuminga for the fall.

Rivals Roundtable: Players who have impressed recently

2020 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Position

2022 Rankings: Top 75


1. PROFESSIONAL RANKS

It's not just the G League vying for Kuminga’s services, but also professional opportunities overseas, such as the NBL, which hosted R.J. Hampton and LaMelo Ball last year. The NBL is said to be offering more money, which is also tax-free, but the G League can offer a cushy landing spot in southern California. Playing in the United States could be of extra value during the ongoing pandemic. Communication continues between Kuminga's camp and the G-League and it is in a great spot to add the nation’s current top junior prospect to its new initiative beginning in the fall.

2. TEXAS TECH

If there is one college program that can pull Kuminga away from the professional ranks, it is Texas Tech. The Red Raiders have continued to invest time and attention in Kuminga and also have a connection that no other program can match: the presence of his older brother, Joel Ntambwe. The two have been tied to the hip this offseason and having someone that has seen the everyday life of a Red Raiders’ student-athlete should only help their cause. Questions have already arisen surrounding Kuminga and his college eligibility in the fall, which is why the pro ranks might be even more intriguing at this point in time.

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3. AUBURN

Auburn enrolled five-star lead guard Sharife Cooper, but will also need greater help at the small forward spot thanks to Isaac Okoro's one-and-done campaign last year. J.T. Thor is expected to help fill that role, but he could also help with the recruitment of Kuminga as the two are very close friends and were actually seen working out together during the early portion of the quarantine this spring. Bruce Pearl has never been afraid of going after the nation's best, and Auburn's recent Final Four run has made the Tigers a more realistic option.

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T-4. DUKE / KENTUCKY

While it has been customary to see the bluebloods attached to the names of the very best, the chances of Duke or Kentucky having a shot with Kuminga is rather small. The Blue Devils have not had much contact with Kuminga in months and, while John Calipari would have no issues throwing in another elite level talent onto his roster for the upcoming season, he has bigger needs which is the center position and the immediate eligibility of Olivier Sarr. If Kuminga would have remained in the 2021 class, Duke and Kentucky would have had a better shot.

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