Every year, there always seems to be a player who bolsters his NBA Draft stock over the course of the NCAA tournament. In the 2021 NCAA Tournament, numerous players took full advantage of the opportunity to shine on the biggest stage in college basketball, including Davion Mitchell out of Baylor.
Not many viewed Davion Mitchell as a possible top-20 pick for the 2021 NBA Draft at the start of the season, but this all changed following his heroics in helping the Baylor Bears capture their first NCAA tournament title in school history.
Davion Mitchell had plenty of standout performances over the tournament, which included a 15 points and five assists showing in the final against heavy favorites Gonzaga.
Now, all signs point to Davion Mitchell likely being a top 15 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. Many teams are certainly viable fits for the standout guard, but these two teams would be the best destinations for him.
Davion Mitchell team fits:
Golden State Warriors
At the moment, it is not fully known just what the Golden State Warriors plan to do come draft night. The Warriors will have two first-round picks in the upcoming draft with the No. 7 and No. 14 overall selections. They certainly will have a plethora of options to improve their team, from moving up in the draft to trading both picks in a package for an established veteran.
If the Warriors do go on to use the No. 7 pick, all signs point to the team selecting Davion Mitchell. The Warriors reportedly worked out Mitchell on Thursday and as one recent report noted, there are some within the front office that are advocating for the team to select the promising guard.
Mitchell is deemed among the more NBA-ready prospects in this draft, which would bode well for a Warriors team that will be looking to return to the playoffs this upcoming season.
From his tenacity as an on-ball defender to his vertical quickness, Mitchell has the tools to come into a team like the Warriors and make an immediate impact right out the gate.
More so, Mitchell showed tremendous improvements with his 3-point shooting this past season; he shot 44.7 percent from beyond the arc, which was up from his 32.4 percent figure in the previous season.
Davion Mitchell may not be slated to earn starting minutes with the Warriors next season should they draft him, especially as Klay Thompson may be a full-go by the opening half of the season. Still, the Warriors sure have longed for an impact guard off the bench, and Mitchell surely fits the bill here.
New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans were among the more disappointing teams in the NBA this past season. Many projected that with Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram leading the way, they would comfortably clinch a playoff spot. However, this did not pan out, as the Pelicans finished 11th in the final Western Conference standings.
Much of what held the Pelicans back this past season revolved around their putrid on-ball defense. The Pelicans’ defensive struggles continued as they allowed 114.9 points per game in the regular season, which ranked 24th in the NBA.
In the case that teams such as the Warriors and Magic elect to pass on Davion Mitchell, the Pelicans would certainly be an ideal fit for him.
For one, the Pelicans may be on the verge of a notable backcourt overhaul, as Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart will become restricted free agents next month. It is not yet known whether the Pelicans plan to go all out to keep either of the two, especially as they each are expected to garner notable interest from multiple teams when the upcoming free agency period kicks off.
In the case that the Pelicans lose both talents, they surely will be in need of immediate replacements, and Mitchell would be a viable candidate to not only help fill the potential void but also bolster their backcourt production.
As mentioned, Davion Mitchell is among the highly touted defenders in this draft. His sheer aggressiveness when defending in the half-court coupled with his knack to create turnovers is just what the Pelicans need for next season.
On offense, Mitchell is not a guard that needs to have the ball to thrive. He can make an impact off the ball, which includes his growing proficiency as a catch-and-shoot offensive player.
The Pelicans will have plenty of options come draft night, and they could end up picking the promising two-way star, which could very well be an X-factor in their playoff aspirations next season.