Davion Mitchell hasn't logged an NBA minute yet, but the rookie point guard already is making his presence felt on the Kings.
The Kings drafted Mitchell with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. General manager Monte McNair and head coach Luke Walton were drawn to the guard's defensive-minded play and winning mentality they believe is engrained in the Baylor product.
McNair spoke with the media Friday and praised Mitchell's winning ways and the impact they already are having on an organization that hasn't made the playoffs in 15 years.
"We certainly had high expectations for Davion, as we talked about on draft night," McNair said. "But we love to see it in action. As we have talked about, Davion has won at every level he has been at, fresh off a national championship at Baylor and to come in and spearhead a Summer League championship is a testament to Bobby Jackson and his staff, but also Davion, what he does is infectious and contagious."
Mitchell has not only made a positive impression on the organization but also on teammates De'Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton.
"I think my biggest takeaway is just how hard he works," Haliburton said of Mitchell. "I'm sure you guys have seen an article or read or whatever that they had to tell him that he can't be in here. But he really is here all the time, he lives here it seems like. And that's a great trait to have, and I think he works so hard that it's no surprise why he's where he is and has had the success he's had in his basketball career.
"So that's refreshing for me to see a guy working like that, it makes me work harder, and I hope everybody sees that and it works that way for everybody."
Fox has been impressed by the rookie's intensity on both sides of the ball.
"He's good at anticipating things, he's quick, strong, and then offensively, it goes both ways for him, he uses his strength and his quickness on both sides of the ball, he just has really good instincts," Fox told reporters.
The Kings have high hopes for Mitchell, believing he, Fox and Haliburton can form a three-guard lineup that can be devastating on both ends of the floor.
So far, Mitchell has been as advertised for McNair, Walton and the Kings.