NBA Draft prospect comparison: Davion Mitchell – Frank Jackson
For some reason, many mock drafts have Davion Mitchell slotted as a top-eight pick in the draft.
Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer has Mitchell going seventh to the Golden State Warriors and compares him to Jrue Holiday of the Milwaukee Bucks as a player comparison.
Just from a physical perspective, Jrue Holiday is 6-foot-3 while Davion Mitchell is 6-foot. Three inches makes a world of difference in the NBA.
I’m less worried about Mitchell’s size, though, in comparison to his shooting.
Outside of his poor 21 percent free-throw rate, Mitchell’s 3-point shooting is an interesting case study.
Mitchell was a 28 percent 3-point shooter in his freshman season at Auburn and a 32 percent 3-throw shooter during his redshirt sophomore season for Baylor.
Out of seemingly nowhere, Mitchell became a 44 percent 3-point shooter this season. So the question is, who is Mitchell as a 3-point shooter?
One thing to keep in mind is that the Baylor Bears were the number one ranked 3-point shooting team in college basketball last season at 41.3 percent. In addition to Mitchell, Adam Flagler shot 43 percent, Jared Butler shot 41 percent, and MaCio Teague shot 39 percent from 3-point range.
In 2020, Baylor shot 35 percent from deep which was good for 80th in the country.
One has to wonder if the addition of 3-point shooting, and by that logic, floor-spacing, is the reason for Mitchell’s dramatic improvement.
In any case, Frank Jackson of the Detroit Pistons makes for a good comparison for the kind of player Mitchell can be offensively.
According to ShotQuality, Mitchell ranked in the 43rd percentile in their points per percentile rank, and 26 percent of Mitchell’s possessions ranked as good possession ranks, whereas 24 percent ranked as bad possession ranks (nearly identical).
Obviously only playing one season at Duke, Jackson did not have nearly the same body of work that Mitchell does after three seasons of collegiate basketball, but Jackson’s splits offensively seems like a good match for the player Mitchell is (47% on field goal attempts, 75% from the free-throw line on 2.8 attempts per game).
It took Jackson two years to figure it out, but Jackson has really established himself as a backup rotational guard this season as a member of the Pistons.
While Mitchell is probably a better playmaker and defender than Jackson is, the offensively issues that plague them both (poor free-throw rate, streaky long-distance shooting) is what better suits them as rotational pieces in their careers rather than starters.