Davion Mitchell
Darron Cummings / The Associated Press

Davion Mitchell Will Be A Star In The NBA

In just under one week, the 2021 NBA Draft will take place. All of our questions will be answered as each team makes their selections on Thursday night from a draft class that is full of talent. Projected number one overall pick Cade Cunningham is a stud, G-League stars Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga have tons of potential, and plenty of other memorable names from the NCAA have the skills to be sufficient in the NBA. However, there is one prospect who I am more excited about than the rest. In Vendetta’s 2021 Writer NBA Mock Draft, I managed the New Orleans Pelicans and selected Baylor’s Davion Mitchell with the 10th pick. It was an amazing feeling knowing that I just selected the NBA’s next star. Yup, you read that right. Davion Mitchell will be a star in the NBA because he performs every aspect of the game at an extremely high level.

In college basketball last season, Mitchell was arguably the best scorer in the country. The guard averaged just over 14 points per game on an astounding 51 percent field goal percentage from the floor. Mitchell is a very efficient scorer who can expose a defense in many ways. His ability to score to the rim is generated by his explosive first step, which was among the quickest in the nation last season. Mitchell can score on the run and put up points in bunches, and he is very dangerous from beyond the arc. In 2020, Mitchell shot 44 percent from three. Combine this with how efficient he is at attacking the rim, and Davion Mitchell becomes virtually impossible to defend. If the 2021 NCAAM champion Baylor Bears did not have as many offensive weapons, Mitchell would have averaged much more than 14 points. His craftiness combined with his shooting potential should make Mitchell a severe offensive threat in the NBA.

Not only is Davion Mitchell one of the top scorers in the class, but he is also without a doubt the draft’s top defender. The six-foot-two, 205-pound guard can defend anybody on the floor with his high motor and physicality. Recently, Mitchell won both the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year award and the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year. His lateral quickness on the perimeter will make it very tough for opposing ball handlers to score from outside next season. Not only is Mitchell a great on-ball defender, but he is also good off the ball as well, as his relentless hustle allows him to recover quickly on defensive switches and cut into passing lanes. If I were a GM, a player like Mitchell who works tirelessly on the defensive end is someone I would certainly target in the draft.

Arguably the most important part of an NBA guard’s game is his playmaking ability. Similarly to both scoring and defending, Mitchell is a better playmaker than most other prospects too. The 22-year-old averaged 5.5 assists per game last season and just two turnovers. When he is on the court, Mitchell assumes the role of the playmaker and generates sharp offense for his team. The Baylor Bears were one of the top offensive teams in the nation last season, highlighted by their domination of the March Madness field, and Mitchell’s ability to facilitate a team and consistently find open looks should not be forgotten.

So, to recap, Mitchell is a 50 percent scorer from the floor, a 44 percent scorer from three, a defensive player of the year, and the point guard on an offense that broke scoring records in March Madness. Is there anything that he cannot do? Mitchell dominates every facet of a basketball game. Why is he not a projected top-five pick? He is obviously going to be at the bare minimum a very solid NBA player.

The only reasonable concern there is about Davion Mitchell is his size. While that may cause problems early in Mitchell’s career, I am not convinced it will be overly impactful. This may be one of the smartest basketball players on the planet, and Mitchell will use his basketball IQ to figure out ways to play bigger than his height. If every player sacrificed a few inches for the amount of hustle that Mitchell gives, I would not complain one bit.

The fact that his age will push him down the board on draft night is astonishing to me. I do not care that Mitchell turns 23 soon. I watched him destroy Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs in the NCAA Championship, along with the rest of Gonzaga’s stacked roster. There is no 18-year-old kid I would take over Mitchell (except for Cunningham… maybe) because very few players develop into as efficient and intelligent a player as Mitchell already is.

I am not saying that Mitchell will have a better career than Cunningham. However, I think Mitchell provides the most help to a championship team in the NBA. Look at Milwaukee Bucks point guard Jrue Holiday. He is a capable shooter, a lockdown defender, and a solid playmaker. His impact helped bring the Bucks an NBA championship. Based on how developed Mitchell’s scoring ability is, I believe he will end up as a better pro than Jrue Holiday and a better pro than most opposing point guards. This kid can do it all at an extremely high level. Do not overthink this one. Mitchell is a winner. He will be a star in the NBA.

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