Poof: Duke basketball program appears among No. 1 recruit's finalists

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Duke basketball recruiting target Jonathan Kuminga (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The ace among rising seniors is still considering a Duke basketball future.

News of The Patrick School (N.J.) small forward Jonathan Kuminga including the Duke basketball recruiters on his final list is somewhat of a surprise. After all, in recent months, there has been a noticeable lack of contact between Mike Krzyzewski's bunch and the 6-foot-9, 225-pound five-star sitting atop the 247Sports 2021 Composite.

Kuminga, who had narrowed his suitors to 10 in November, unveiled on Friday his five finalists, one of which isn't even a school. Those still in contention for the phenom's services are Duke, Kentucky, Texas Tech, Auburn, and the G League.

Seeing that the chiseled specimen possesses supreme athleticism, power, and confidence in addition to a versatile skillset, the G League is likely to offer Kuminga no less than a $500K one-year salary should he say no thanks to the college route.

Dollar-wise, though, if the NCAA does indeed nix the ban on student-athletes profiting from their name, image, and likeness in time for the 2021-22 season, the teen could potentially earn more than half a million as a Blue Devil.

ALSO READ: NCAA cost Duke players $1.3 million last season

Yet the four 247Sports Crystal Ball picks, all of which are recent, peg the Congo native to end up at Texas Tech, where his brother, Joel Ntambwe, will debut next season after transferring from UNLV. Kuminga has not given an exact timeframe for making a final decision; however, as recruiting insider Adam Zagoria tweeted two weeks ago, the coveted player is still eyeing a reclass to 2020.

Who else remains in play for the Duke basketball coaches on the 2021 trail?

Others holding offers from Krzyzewski are all five-stars: Briarcrest Christian (Tenn.) point guard Kennedy Chandler, Rolling Meadows (Ill.) shooting guard Max Christie, Paul VI Catholic (Va.) shooting guard Trevor Keels, Hamilton (Wis.) small forward Patrick Baldwin Jr., O'Dea (Wash.) power forward Paolo Banchero, and Andrews Osborne (Ohio) center Charles Bediako.

ALSO READ: Ranking the chances of 10 finalists for Patrick Baldwin Jr.

Though the staff in Durham is an underdog to welcome the top 2021 prospect, they are set to enjoy the small forward with a No. 7 overall composite ranking in Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.) five-star AJ Griffin, who verbally committed to Duke in November.

Stay tuned to Ball Durham for more Duke basketball recruiting updates, analyses, opinions, and predictions.