Louisville guard Donovan Mitchell staying in 2017 NBA draft

Andy Lyons/Getty Images
2 Comments

Louisville sophomore Donovan Mitchell entered the NBA draft without an agent, allowing him to withdraw and maintain college eligibility.

But he’s now closing the door on a return to college basketball, hiring an agent.

Mitchell:

Mitchell looks a mid-to-late first-round pick.

Athletic with a solid base, he should defend point guards well at the next level. But at 6-foot-3, can he regularly defend wings?

That’s a key question, because it’s questionable whether Mitchell can run point offensively. He mostly played off-the-ball at Louisville, showing playmaking ability good for a shooting guard but poor for a point guard.

Louisville asked Mitchell to be more of a scorer, and he had to create a lot of his own shots. He made a lot of tough ones, but because he generated too few easy ones – a skill in itself – his efficiency was low. NBA teams must determine whether Louisville’s system or his shot selection had more to do with Mitchell’s shooting percentages.

Mitchell clearest path to contributing in the NBA might be playing point guard defensively and shooting guard offensively – a combination that requires a specific backcourt partner, narrowing the pool of fitting teams. He strikes me as the type of prospect who could slip on draft night. Then again, tough-shot-making is a skill we’ve repeatedly seen teams fall for.