22 year old 6’2, 205 pound guard out of Baylor.
Averaged 14.0 points, 5.5 assists, and 2.7 rebounds on 51.1% fg, 44.7% 3, 64.1% ft.
Davion is the biggest riser in all of the 2021 draft, which I think immediately speaks to his mentality. While watching the phenomenal film breakdowns that Mike Schmitz did with Mitchell I learned a lot about him. He is a first guy in and last guy out type of person with him always expecting the most of himself, constantly being a self critic as he expects nothing but the best from himself. He grew so much throughout the year due to that hard work and constant analysis of his game. He is a true student of the game who is always watching the best to see what makes them so great. On the long list of things I love about him the first thing that stood out was his footwork. His footwork reminds me so much of Donovan Mitchell it is scary. The one two of the screen into the pullup three, the stepback, and the ability to stop on a dime into a pullup midrange or three. These are the moves that have made Donovan a rising superstar and a player who dominates the playoffs every year. He also reminded me a lot of Damian Lillard with him using that hop into deeper threes and changing his pace with a crossover to get to the hoop. As a whole his ball handling is absolutely fantastic, the best I have watched in the class so far. His burst is so great and mixed with his shiftiness it makes him a nightmare to stay in front of. Going back to the film study with Mike Schmitz, what I loved to hear Davion talk about was going through his mental process with the ball in his hands. He always has a counter for anything the defense throws at him, whether that be a slick hesitation, crossover, stepback, or so many other moves. His finishing is a strong part of his game as he is very crafty around the basket and mixes that with great touch as well to be a 60.5% finisher. He had some great floater and acrobatic layups that excited me because he needs those to finish with elite rim protectors in the paint. His PnR ability was fantastic as he had a nuanced ability of using screens that took all the best guards in the NBA years to acquire. Him showing off the ability to run high pick n rolls and hit pullup threes is what took him to a whole different level as a scorer. He had some great moments as well of accelerating and then quickly stopping for his elite mid-range jumper. While most of his scoring came from the fact that he is amazing as a creator, his off ball talent impressed me a lot as well. On a stacked Baylor team he knew that plenty of other guys on his roster were more than capable as creators as well. He had a lot of great moments of driving, kicking, and then relocating for an open shot. He is also a great transition player who uses his incredible speed to outrun the pack. Now moving onto his impressive playmaking throughout the year he really developed as a passer in the PnR where he became great at hitting the rollman and making tough passes to the weak side corner. Something that I loved to see was his off-hand passing growth, where you can see him getting so much more comfortable making passes with his left than he was at the beginning of the year. Though he did not make the advanced reads that would give me the confidence in him being a primary playmaker, he made plenty of good passes that got me very excited about the idea of him being a secondary playmaker. Tons of good moments of him making the extra pass to go from a good shot to a great shot. Now moving on to his defense he could very well be the best perimeter defender in this class. He mixes elite lateral quickness with great core strength to overcome his size, being someone who guarded guys as big as Cade Cunningham. His hips are so fluid that makes him, for lack of a better term, a pain in the ass on defense. His PnR defense is fantastic as he is so great at navigating around screens but even when forced to switch you will be surprised at how good he is when guarding bigger players. He does a great job of denying entry passes and then using his low center of gravity to be a pest, showing his never give up mentality. His anticipation is some of the best in the draft as his ability in the passing lanes allow him to be a true defensive playmaker. His defensive rotations are elite as you see him roaming all over the floor, being in the right position for help defense at all times. His motor on defense was fantastic as well with him constantly putting his body on the line by diving for loose balls and taking charges. As a whole he is an uber athletic guard who is potentially the most complete player on both sides of the ball in the draft.
Davion is a hard player for me to find many weaknesses for with how experienced he is and how much he improved throughout his college career. The first thing that stands out as an issue is that he is much closer to his ceiling than other prospects. As a near 23 year old player that potential lack of upside will turn a lot of scouts off. The next big problem with Mitchell is that he just doesn’t draw fouls. Generating easy points is so huge to being a great scorer so him being someone that only gets to the line 2.1 times a game and only shoots 64.1% could limit his ceiling as a scorer. Just like a lot of other small guys there is a learning curve of drawing contact but not getting banged up throughout the grind of a season. There are times as well where as a playmaker he takes a bit too much time to process in the PnR and that split second of time it takes for him to process where the open man is can be the difference between a turnover and a basket. He also did have a bit of a tendency to get a bit tunnel visioned while attacking the basket, getting out of control going downhill. Many will reasonably have questions about how sustainable his shooting is as well. With him taking such a big leap and having some inconsistencies I would not be surprised to see him have some immediate shooting struggles, via http://www.tankathon.com his projected NBA 3 point percentage is only 35.2%. Size can be a concern as well because even when you compare him to another undersized guard like Donovan Mitchell his wingspan is about 6 inches shorter. That’s really it though he is a very polished prospect but the lack of foul drawing and worries about long term upside due lead to some cause for concern.
What I Rate Him As A Prospect
Where He Fits Best
Golden State Warriors: Giving the Warriors a player who helps them win immediately should be their main goal in the draft. Someone who could help them whenever Steph Curry is not on the floor but also be great alongside Steph and Klay is much needed.
New Orleans Pelicans: With the looming free agency of Lonzo Ball getting the Pelicans a reliable shooter, playmaker, and defender to help the young talent on the roster before frustrations begin would be a splash pickup.
Indiana Pacers: With the Pacers having eternal pressure to make a playoff push after getting a new coach and getting healthy, having a guy who could immediately be one of the best backups in the league would be very helpful. He would be very helpful as well in case of Malcolm Brogdon getting injured which happens often or if he got traded which rumors of that have been swirling around.
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