Kings GM McNair explains Mitchell pick despite lack of need

Davion Mitchell

For the second year in a row, the Kings eagerly selected who they believed to be the best player available in the NBA draft. 

Taking guard Tyrese Haliburton -- who many believe to be the steal of the 2020 NBA Draft -- with the No. 12 pick last year, Sacramento followed its home-run selection by taking another guard, Davion Mitchell, in 2021. 

With Haliburton, plus guards De'Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield, the Kings' decision to select yet another guard was questioned by many. 

Kings general manager Monte McNair further explained Sacramento's best-player-available approach to the draft in an interview with The Athletic's Sam Amick

"Davion is obviously a very special player, as you know -- national champion, (and) he’s won really at every level," McNair told Amick. "That was the number one thing that jumps out is just his winning pedigree, his competitiveness, his work ethic. Certainly, when you just look at the team we had and who we had drafted the year before and Tyrese and who we already had on the team with De’Aaron, and you say, ‘Why would you draft another point guard?’ (But) this is where we talk about being a best player available in the draft. And it’s a hard thing to do sometimes, but we truthfully sit here and try to (draft) best player available.

"And when Davion is sitting at the top of our board, we do not hesitate to draft him. And I’m of the belief that these guys are such talented players. And really, all three of those guys are such quality human beings. They want to win. They want to figure it out …They’re pushing each other."


Drafting the best player available is a luxury that not every team has. Most teams, in fact, have an obvious need to be filled through the draft. By drafting Mitchell, the Kings felt confident enough in the core they already had, and could afford to double or even triple up at a position and figure the rest out later. 

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You can never have too much of a good thing. 

Through 11 games so far this season, Mitchell has averaged 9.9 points, 2.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists in 27.5 minutes per game on 40.0 percent shooting while playing outstanding defense. 

It's a small sample size, but so far Mitchell has impressed off the bench for the Kings. With more minutes expected to come his way eventually, the Kings certainly will be excited to watch him develop into a true two-way player.