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Donovan Mitchell to sign with an agent, remain in the NBA Draft

North Carolina State v Louisville

LOUISVILLE, KY - JANUARY 29: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Louisville Cardinals dribbles the ball during the game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at KFC YUM! Center on January 29, 2017 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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Louisville’s Donovan Mitchell announced on Friday evening that he has decided to sign with an agent and remain in the NBA Draft.

“I have decided to forego my junior season and stay in the 2017 NBA Draft,” Mitchell announced in a post on Instagram. “I want to thank Card Nation for a great two years. I want to thank all the coaches from Coach Arjay to Coach Smith and everyone on the Louisville staff for helping me become the man that I am today.”

Mitchell averaged 15.6 points and 2.7 assists as a sophomore, although he spent the majority of his time playing off the ball this past season. But he’s a terrific athlete with outstanding physical tools that projects as an excellent defender at the next level. As he adds playmaking and perimeter shooting consistency to his game, he’ll only get better.

The bigger issue in these parts is that Mitchell’s absence is a brutal blow for Louisville, who had been the No. 1 team in the NBC Sports preseason top 25. Without Mitchell, the Cardinals are losing a preseason all-american and one of the few guys on their roster that had the ability to create his own offense.