- This is the seventh installment of a series breaking down the potential selections for both the Kings and Warriors in the 2021 NBA Draft.
The 2021 NBA Draft is almost here and the Warriors and Kings are shifting into overdrive. One team is trying to keep their window open, and the other is trying to snap a 15-year playoff drought.
These two teams are drafting near each other for one of the few times in recent memory and despite their differences heading into the offseason, they have a lot of similar needs on the court.
We’ve already taken a deep dive into Florida State’s Scottie Barnes, Arkansas’ Moses Moody, Keon Johnson out of Tennessee, UConn’s James Bouknight, Franz Wagner from Michigan and Australian point guard Josh Giddey.
Next up on the list is Baylor’s Davion Mitchell, who is scheduled to go somewhere between No. 6 and No. 12 on draft night.
Stats: 14.0 points, 2.7 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.9 steals, 51.1% FG, 44.7% 3-point FG
Age: 22 Height: 6-foot-1.25 Weight: 202 Wingspan: 6-foot-4.25
Mitchell is a lockdown defender who plays much bigger than his listed size, which was on full display in Baylor’s run to the NCAA Championship.
While Mitchell posted somewhat pedestrian height and wingspan numbers at the combine, he passed the eye test as well as any player in the draft. He’s also a mature athlete who turns 23 in September and should step in and play rotational minutes in Year 1.
Mitchell developed as a scorer during his time in the NCAA. He posted a career-high 31 points against Kansas State in January, and finished the season with five games with 20 or more points while failing to register double-figure scoring in just six out of 30 games.
Mitchell came into this season as a defensive specialist, but he worked tirelessly on his 3-point shot, which is one of the big reasons he’s considered a top-10 pick.
After shooting 32.4 percent from 3 in his sophomore season, Mitchell bumped that number to 44.7 percent on 4.7 attempts per game. He increased his attempts by 25 percent and his success rate by 12 percent, and while he might not have extended range, he projects as a solid floor spacer at the next level.
The perimeter shot opened up plenty of additional opportunities for Mitchell and he took full advantage. There is potential for him to become a quality secondary scorer at the next level while playing his role as a defensive stopper.
Mitchell took on more of a distributor role in his junior campaign, posting a 5.5-to-2.4 assist-to-turnover ratio. He bolstered his assist percentage in each of his three seasons at the NCAA level while reducing his turnover rate.
Not only is Mitchell a lockdown man-on defender, but he averaged 1.9 steals per game. He’s a game-changer on one end of the court, with potential for more. He plays with an incredible motor and has nice leadership skills.
The lack of elite size and length is a concern, but Mitchell’s aggressive style of play should translate and help him overcome any limitations.
While Mitchell can score with either hand in the restricted area and has a plus-40-inch vertical, he doesn’t play above the rim. There is concern that he might have some difficulties scoring inside at the same clip when the opponents are bigger, stronger and faster.
Despite his physical style of play, Mitchell doesn’t get to the line like he should. He averaged just 2.1 free throw attempts per game and knocked down 64.1 percent. Again, this could be an issue when it comes to his overall ability to score at the NBA level.
There is potential for Mitchell to step up and become more on the offensive end. There also is a chance that he settles in as a fifth option and secondary distributor. He should be able to keep defenses honest with his ability to hit the open three, but whether he can impact the game on this end is a question mark.
Lastly, Mitchell averaged just 2.7 rebounds in 33 minutes per game last season. That’s a very low number, regardless of position.
Fit with Warriors
Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are the Warriors. Saying that, Mitchell still fits, especially with his ability to shoot the 3 and play off the ball.
It would cost Bob Myers his No. 7 overall pick, which is a steep cost, but there is potential for Mitchell to slide into the starting lineup and defend the opponent's best player. He’s also an older prospect that is expected to see minutes early in his career.
The Warriors are going to have plenty of options with their top pick, but not many that can step in and help right away. They will shop this pick hard, but if they stick around and make this selection, this is a player that makes a lot of sense.
Mitchell won’t make it to the Warriors at pick No. 14 and there might even be a few teams looking to move up to select him above the No. 7 pick.
Fit with Kings
Under the current roster construction, Mitchell would be more of a luxury than a true fit in Sacramento. De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton are considered the future in the backcourt, but the Kings also have Buddy Hield, Delon Wright and Terence Davis all under contract or team control this season.
Mitchell would certainly give the Kings a different look and there is potential for one or more of the other players to move on in the next season or two. But there are definitely more pressing needs for the Kings.
On the flip side, Mitchell brings something that the Kings just don’t have. He’s a defensive catalyst and whether he’s coming off the bench or in the starting lineup, he could bring a new mentality to the rotation.
There might be better positional fits, but the intangibles that Mitchell brings are intriguing and his addition would open the door for a roster reshuffle.
High end: Kyle Lowry, Marcus Smart
Low end: Patrick Beverley, Jarrett Jack