What You Need To Know About the NBA G League Ignite's Top Prospects
From how it works to the top talented youngsters and bubble life, here’s everything you need to know about the NBA G League Ignite basketball team.
ORLANDO, FL - FEBRUARY 10: Jalen Green #4 of Team Ignite dunks the ball against the Santa Cruz Warriors on February 10, 2021 at AdventHealth Arena in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images)
While the NBA season has been going on for almost two months now, the NBA G League finally tipped off its long-awaited season Wednesday. This season is different for the G League for a number of reasons—it’s being played in a bubble in Orlando and the season runs through March 11, including playoffs—but the most interesting one is the introduction of a new team, NBA G League Ignite.
The Ignite squad is the first of its kind and will certainly be the team that generates the most interest not only this year, especially after Jalen Green decided to skip college and play in the G League, but as long as it exists. Here’s what you need to know about the squad you’ll probably be hearing a bunch about:
This is what you’re here to see. The G League Ignite has six prospects on the roster, headlined by Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga (pictured above). Both those guys are currently projected to be top-five selections in the 2021 NBA Draft. Green was the No. 2 overall prospect in the 2020 high school graduating class (according to 24/7 Sports), and after Kuminga reclassified from 2021 to 2020, he was ranked as the No. 4 prospect in the country.
Green was the first one to commit to the team, sending a bit of shock through the high school basketball community. When he signed with the G League, it was reported that he would earn $500,000 for the season.
Green and Kuminga have been joined by four other potential future NBA players, including five-star prospects Daishen Nix and Isaiah Todd, as well as Princepal Singh of India. Singh is the first graduate of the NBA Academy in India to sign a professional contract. Kai Sotto of the Philippines also is on the roster, but has opted out of the start of the G League bubble in order to play on the Philippine National Team.
In the Ignite’s first game, Singh was the only one of the prospects that did not see the court against the Santa Cruz Warriors. Todd and Nix both came off the bench for Ignite, while Kuminga and Green were in the starting lineup. Kuminga may have been the best player on the floor in the game, despite his struggles shooting the ball from the outside. He finished with 19 points on 9-of-18 shooting, with four assists, including a beautiful 25-foot bounce pass to Green for a dunk in transition.
Jonathan Kuminga with the bounce pass to Jalen Green for the dunk! @nbagleague | #NextIsNow pic.twitter.com/dzYrl0yZMi
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) February 10, 2021
And then he finished the game strong with a block that shut the door on any hopes Santa Cruz had of a comeback.
And this is how Jonathan Kuminga finishes his debut...with a game clinching block.
Incredible performance today. pic.twitter.com/M2IAkmkWXX
— Aram Cannuscio (@AC__Hoops) February 10, 2021
Green showed promise too, despite less than stellar numbers with 11 points on 4-of-10 from the floor in his first professional action. Todd, Nix, and Singh all could make it in the NBA, but Kuminga and Green are the guys on this roster that have the potential to be stars in the league for a long time. Teams are going to be watching the Ignite play very closely, and those two guys are the reason why.