Jarron Cumberland is close to taking the next step in his basketball life.
The 2020 NBA Draft is tonight and Cumberland will be among the 60 players who hope to have their name called in the two-round event. The draft begins at 8 p.m. It will be televised on ESPN.
“He’s really quiet about it,” said Scott Cumberland, Jarron’s father. “He’s nervous but at the same time excited.”
Scott said being drafted or signed by a team that is the right fit for Jarron is more important than simply being selected on draft night.
“He’d like to get his name called out as long as it’s the right fit,” Scott said. “He’s willing to accept a role.”
Cumberland led Wilmington High School to the Division I boys basketball state final four in 2016. An Ohio Mr. Basketball finalist and nominee for the prestigious McDonald’s All-American Award, he completed this spring a decorated career at the University of Cincinnati.
At UC, Cumberland earned All-American Athletic Conference player of the year honors in 2019 and was honorable mention All-America in 2019. He finished seventh on UC’s all-time scoring list with 1,782 points, after scoring 2,408 points in his high school career. He remains Clinton County’s all-time leading basketball scorer.
Cumberland also is seventh all-time on UC’s career assist list with 415. He joined Oscar Robertson, Steve Logan and Deonta Vaughn as the only players in UC history to have more than 1,700 career points and 400 career assists.
Cumberland majored in Criminal Justice at UC and graduated this past spring.
Even if his name is not called tonight during the draft, Cumberland would still have a chance to sign a free agent contract with an NBA team. Several teams have expressed an interest in the 6-5, 210-pound guard, according to Scott.
“But like his agent said a lot can change,” said Scott. “Anything can happen.”
There is a team that has said a two-way contract is possible if Cumberland goes undrafted. The two-way contract is between an NBA team and its G-League affiliate. The G-League is minor league to the NBA.
Two-way players are paid a corresponding daily amount based on the number of days they play in each league. Only players in their fourth NBA season or earlier are able to sign two-way contracts, which can be for either one or two seasons. according to gleague.nba.com
Players drafted by an NBA team are given salaries based on a rookie wage scale. First-round picks can earn as much as 120 percent or as little as 80 percent of the salary assigned their draft slot. The first pick scale is $8,131,000. The 30th pick scale is $1,613,700. Players selected in the second round of the draft won’t have a salary lower than the league minimum which is approximately $560,000.
Regardless of how he gets there, Cumberland is confident he can have a career as a professional basketball player if giving the opportunity.
“He’s made to play (in the NBA),” Scott said. “He knows what it takes. Once J(arron) gets comfortable, he’s always stepped up to the challenge. He’s always said to me, ‘Once I get my chance, I’ll be OK’.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @wnjsports