After being selected ninth overall in the 2021 NBA Draft, Davion Mitchell had many question marks surrounding him entering Summer League. Can a player that small thrive outside of the collegiate level? Is his improvement in three-point shooting just a fluke? Can a third guard fit with the Sacramento Kings‘ long-term plans?
Now, the last thing we want to do is overreact about a single Summer League performance, but it’s hard to deny the fact that Mitchell was the best player on the court last night.
In a closely contested game that ended in an overtime defeat, Mitchell scored 23 points on 9-of-18 shooting from the field. He drilled a pair of three-pointers and reeled in 3 rebounds. Most impressively, Mitchell appeared to overcome his lack of size and played tenacious defense resulting in 3 steals.
Mitchell was profiled as a great defender coming out of college, but it was tough to determine whether or not that would translate to the NBA. Kings fans should feel very comfortable now having three guards that can dominate both ends of the court in Mitchell, De’Aaron Fox, and Tyrese Haliburton.
Sacramento Kings fans tuned in on Tuesday night to get a taste of how their new three guard rotation would work, and Davion Mitchell more than delivered.
The only sour note coming out of last night’s game was how the team failed to close things out, with Mitchell easily breaking out of a double team before turning it over on a bad pass instead of taking the game-winning attempt himself. However, it is just Summer League and I doubt the final score is going to hang heavy in anyone’s heart for too long.
Mitchell showed himself to be a very competent player whose skills should translate to the NBA quite well. He may take on a reduced role or sit out altogether in the next game after pushing himself for 32 minutes and ultimately leaving last night’s game with a hamstring cramp.
There may be a silver lining here, as we may get to see more of second-round draft pick Neemias Queta when the Kings take on the Lakers tonight at 8pm PDT. Perhaps we may even get our first look at Alex Antetokounmpo, who fans all across the league have been wanting to see in action.