2021 NBA Draft Scouting Report: Davion Mitchellby Charlie Parent May 28, 2021 1 comment
Coming into the NCAA tournament, Davion Mitchell was considered a late-first or early second-round pick. Because of his play in the tournament, however, he has now vaulted himself into lottery consideration. A 6’2” guard, the Baylor Bear can bring it all to his team, and has drawn some interesting comparisons. His looks, name, playstyle, and jersey number made many think that he was the brother of NBA superstar Donovan Mitchell. While they are not related, the comparisons are true and Davion has the potential to be a real superstar in the NBA.
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Name: Davion Mitchell
Position: Combo Guard
School: Baylor University
Weight: 205 lbs
Prototype: Do-it-All Wing
Mitchell is an elite finisher around the rim. He blends a lot of finesse and touch into his play with a nice ability to go and power the ball right up. He rarely misses near the basket but he does have some cases, as does every player. Mitchell has also shown that he can be a bit of a giant slayer. Whether it’s taking bigs to the basket or grabbing rebounds and finishing, he has no fear of getting blocked by a team’s center and has shown consistency here. Overall, Mitchell is a great finisher and there is no real concern.
Perimeter Shooting (8.25/10)
If you were to line up every player in college basketball and pick only a dozen of players who have improved the most in one area, this would be Mitchell in his three-point shooting. In his freshman season at Auburn, Mitchell only took 1.5 threes a game and hit at a 28.8 percent rate. In his sophomore year at Baylor, he took 3.5 a game but only made 32.4 percent. Last season, however, he took 4.7 threes a game and hit at a 44.7 percent clip. This constant improvement is truly remarkable. The one problem is that he needs to stay consistent. If he can continue to hit his shots at the next level, he can be a reliable scorer from anywhere on the floor.
Mitchell is an exceptional ball-handler with room to improve as well. He’s got quick handles and is not much of the methodical type. Mitchell is reliable in isolation basketball and knows how to set his defenders up nicely. He can get better with his touch and usage of true ball-handling. There are times when he relies strictly on his strength to get to the cup. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but the NBA is a stronger game and he’ll need to show consistency before being able to use his strength all the time.
Averaging 5.5 assists per game last season, Mitchell is an interesting passer. He’s not the flashiest in the world but he seems to have nice knowledge for where his teammates are on the floor. He does need to get better with his decision-making, however. Mitchell is not very strong in the pick and roll game, which gets him listed as a combo guard instead of point guard. The pick and roll is huge in the NBA right now and it’s a bit hard to tell how well Mitchell can actually run it. He will need to do everything he can in pre-draft workouts to show that his game here is up to par and won’t affect him in the NBA.
On-Ball Defending (9.75/10)
Mitchell is the best defensive player in this draft class. There’s really no debate about this, either. So far, we’ve only really focused on what this player brings on offense, however, it’s defense that makes scouts drool over him. He was the NCAA Defensive Player of the Year and for great reason. He averaged two steals a game, and absolutely dominated the opposing team’s best guard. His strength and athleticism are what helps him most here but his effort on the court just brings him to the next level. Mitchell should be an elite defender in the NBA, especially once he learns the ins-and-outs of each matchup.
Shot Creating (9/10)
Mitchell excels at getting to the rim and setting up a shot for himself. Whether it’s a pull-up in iso-ball, blowing by defenders, or making the right play in transition, he can do it all. One thing you notice off the bat with his play is how explosive he is off his back feet and this leads to several blow-by finishes at the basket. This natural ability of Mitchell’s will carry on nicely to the NBA as he’ll be able to be a real threat from both here and the perimeter.
Off-Ball Movement (8.5/10)
Another area that just makes Mitchell’s game so complete is off the ball. He is constantly cutting through the lane and gut looking for open looks and most of the time, finishing them. Mitchell is quick, and catches defenders napping easily, though needs to shake a bit more on the three-point line and knock down his jumpers out there when off the ball. However, up the middle he’s dangerous.
Mitchell isn’t a bad athlete by any means but he’s also not the best in the world. He’s shown some nice leaping ability but is unlikely to be in the dunk contest any time soon. He is very good at exploding in half-court sets and has also run the break nicely. Overall, Mitchell is a solid athlete who shouldn’t have any trouble because of athleticism at the next level.
For a bigger guard, Mitchell isn’t great as a rebounder. He only averaged 2.7 a game last year and 2.2 throughout his career. These numbers aren’t that bad but he doesn’t pose a threat for a true rebounding guard in the league. What you like to see from Mitchell is his effort when chasing after rebounds but we will get into that very soon.
Basketball IQ (3.75/5)
From an IQ standpoint, Mitchell is solid but needs to do a bit more. This kind of plays off the pick-and-roll decision-making from earlier. This is not an area that will hurt him later but can be spruced up a little.
Competitive Toughness (5/5)
Mitchell’s energy and effort on the court are relentless. He’s everywhere on the court and doesn’t stop until the buzzer sounds. It makes his game so much fun to watch and he really rallies his team around him. NBA coaches will love this energy from a young rookie.
Injury History (5/5)
Mitchell has no injury history on record.
As you may be able to tell by now, this guy is well-rounded. There are no real weaknesses to his game, except consistency. He’s new to making jumpers and last season was his breakout year. If he can keep up on what he started in 2020, Mitchell can be a perennial All-Star in this league. There’s no doubt that he should be a lottery pick and most likely be selected in the top 10.
Player Grade (86/100): Top-10 Pick
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