It didn’t take long for No. 9 overall pick Davion Mithcell to impress the Sacramento Kings’ crowd NBA during the Summer League tournament in Las Vegas this summer. The reigning Naismith Defensive Player of the Year and NCAA champion will be joining a backcourt that features De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton, a stark contrast to his Summer League cast.
It’ll be exciting to see how his defensive game translates to NBA play as the Kings looks to carve out a defensive identity following their not-so-hot defensive rating in the 2020-21 season.
Best-case: We see “Off-Night” from the jump on the defensive end of the floor.
It would be amazing if Mitchell can be a spark plug off the bench as the Kings start the season. Being matched-up with other rookie point guards seemed to be no issue during the Vegas tournament, but when it comes to more sizable, experienced guards it will be really interested to see if Davion can rise to the occasion.
Worst-case: A guard-heavy lineup doesn’t fare well for Sacramento’s rotation and Mitchell isn’t made a priority.
Although the Kings’ brass has expressed heavy optimism in running a three-guard lineup with De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton and Davion Mitchell, it’s hard to know exactly how it will pan out until they take the floor together.
I think the Kings need a defensive juggernaut like Mitchell in order to see success on both ends of the floor, however, deciding who facilitates the offense might cause woes in the overall production of the three-guard lineups — finding chemistry will be vital for Mitchell and the Kings’ success this season.
The potential for Davion Mitchell to develop into a top defensive-player in this league is extremely high. He could turn out to be a potential dark horse for Rookie of the Year if his Summer League success is able to translate into wins for Sacramento in the regular season.