Davion Mitchell’s offense is finally coming along

Mar 6, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Davion Mitchell (15) controls the
Mar 6, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Davion Mitchell (15) controls the / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

In 2021, the Sacramento Kings picked Davion Mitchell with the ninth pick in a draft that still had Alperen Sengun, Trey Murphy III, and Herbert Jones among others available. All three are impactful NBA players while Mitchell has been struggling to solidify his spot in Mike Brown’s rotation. 

Fans understandably started to wonder whether Mitchell was a bad pick so high in the draft. His defense was never in question. Mitchell may only be 6’0”, but he is a pesky on-ball defender and can throw any ballhandler off their game. Offense has been the problem, especially early this season. 

Still struggling with his three-point shot and looking overtaxed as the main ballhandler with De’Aaron Fox out early in the season, Mitchell lost Mike Brown’s trust. For the first time in his career, the guard collected DNPs and was glued to the bench while two-way guard Keon Ellis played his way into a standard contract. 

Recently, Mitchell has regained his minutes, however. At first, Coach Brown chose him over Ellis, saying that Mitchell simply had more experience for this important stretch of the season. That changed quickly, and by now, the two are even playing together, collectively taking minutes from Kevin Huerter and Harrison Barnes. 

Davion Michell is having an offensive impact

With Fox out against Denver, Mitchell got another chance to start. It didn’t go too well, and he was relegated back to the bench unit against Minnesota. He stepped up big, scoring 16 points off the bench and allowing Malik Monk, who eventually saved the day, to work through his first-half struggles. 

Since then, Mitchel has looked much more confident and poised on the court. Over his last two games, he made five of his six three-point attempts and averaged 10.5 points. Mitchell not being an offensive liability anymore is huge for the Kings, especially if it persists. 

Lately, it has allowed the team to navigate Kevin Huerter’s struggles and roll out some interesting lineups. When Mitchell and Ellis are both producing offensively, they can play together. Lately, Brown has been experimenting with some three-guard lineups, and every time those two are on the floor together, the Kings look like a much better defensive team. 

Strong perimeter defense that leads to deflections, steals, and fast breaks is incredibly important to the Kings’ success, as their best offense is to get out and run. Not many teams can keep up with them in the open court. 

Mitchell can contribute to that but he needs to be on the court and his offense is what will keep him there. The 26-year-old has good speed and burst. He can get to the paint and score that way, but the Kings’ offensive system is heavily reliant on three-point shooting and floor stretching. 

Coming into the league, that was one of Mitchell’s biggest flaws. His attempts for the entire season are way down compared to the previous ones, but his shot looks much improved. Hopefully, he can keep up the way he’s been shooting lately.

It is not only incredibly important to the team’s success but also to his future in the league. For now, Mitchell has definitely earned his minutes, however.