NBA G League Preview

Story posted February 10, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Jakob Schnur

This year, for the first time ever, the top high school basketball recruits had the option to bypass their freshman years of college and instead play in the G-League, where they will be getting paid. With their first game scheduled for Wednesday, let’s take a look at some of the storylines to follow this season.

Shooting guard Jalen Green, ESPN’s number one recruit coming out of high school is the most recognizable name on this roster and for good reason.

Green has been one of the best high school basketball players in the country since he burst onto the scene his freshman year. His rare combination of shooting, ball handling, elite athleticism and versatility is what makes him a special talent.

Many fans and reporters currently talk about Jalen Green as the third best guard in the upcoming NBA Draft class, behind Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham and Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs. But don’t be surprised if Green jumps up to first in that conversation as this G-League season progresses.

Another big time prospect playing for the Ignite this season is small forward Jonathan Kuminga. Unlike Jalen Green, Kuminga is viewed as the highest rated prospect at his position this season and is probably the best small forward prospect since Jayson Tatum in 2017.

At one point, he was the top-ranked player in high school before Green usurped him. The projected top-five pick has done nothing but impress in scrimmages so far, leading the team with 26 points in the first game and 21 in the second.

Kuminga is a bit raw as a prospect, but if he continues this amount of consistency and growth, we could be seeing a superstar in the making.

The Ignite team possesses three more high-level recruits in Daishen Nix, Isaiah Todd and Kai Sotto.

Nix, a 6-foot-5 point guard with elite playmaking ability will likely start for the Ignite in hopes of pushing himself into the first round of the draft. Todd, a five-star power forward recruit, is another likely starter with extremely high offensive potential as an interior scorer with a solid mid-range jumper. Sotto is maybe not expected to be a legit NBA prospect like the other top recruits on this team due to his thin frame, but with the offensive versatility he possesses at 7-foot-3, he should prove to be effective in the G-League and could win over some NBA organizations.

Leading this highly anticipated group of players at head coach is former three-time NBA champion Brian Shaw.

Shaw played in the league for 15 seasons before eventually becoming an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers. Shaw was on the staff in Los Angeles when it won back to back NBA Finals in 2009 and 2010. In 2013, he was hired as the head coach of the Denver Nuggets before eventually being fired 2 seasons later after having an overall record of 56-85.

Shaw will now get his second shot at being a head coach with the Ignite. An impressive season from this loaded roster could put Shaw back in the conversation for NBA coaching jobs.

 

Jakob Schnur is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email him at jks6463@psu.edu.