NBA Draft 2017 Prospect Watch: Donovan Mitchell

Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sportsat Barclays Center.
Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sportsat Barclays Center. /


The standout trait for Mitchell, and the one which could prove to be most immediately evident when he makes the jump to the NBA, is his defensive acumen.

At 6’3″, Mitchell is almost a little on the small size for the point guard position, and certainly undersized for a two guard, but he boasts a 6’10” wingspan that more than makes up for what he lacks in height.

With good lateral quickness, toughness, and strong focus, Mitchell has the fundamental skills required for a reliable NBA defender, and his long arms make him an even greater impact-maker on that end.

Not only does Mitchell’s length allow him to challenge and bother much taller men, but he also possesses a strong frame for his age and size which means he can’t be easily cowed in a physical battle.

On offense, a combination of circumstance and hard work allowed Mitchell to add to his repertoire as a sophomore, and should leave plenty of room for further development at the next level.

Although his numbers are still somewhat inconsistent, Mitchell has shown massive improvement as a shooter and worked hard on reworking his mechanics. The result is a compact, smooth and quick release that has been proven to work, and now just needs to do so more often.

Mitchell’s vision as a playmaker leaves a lot to be desired, but injuries to various Louisville guards have at least helped the 20-year-old to work on his handles. Mitchell now possesses a string of tricky dribble moves, is comfortable running the pick-and-roll, and can use his speed to explode through traffic and finish in style.

Where his reputation used to be based solely on his athletic gifts, Mitchell can now use them as a complement to an increasingly sound all-around game.