Welcome to Kings In Review, where we’ll be recapping the season for every player that ended the season in Sacramento.
In a season filled with stress and utter depression, there was always one thing Kings fans could rely on to bring them hope. Rookie guard Davion Mitchell.
When the Kings selected Mitchell with the ninth overall pick in the ‘21 draft it left most fans confused. At the time Sacramento already had both De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton. Most people were certain the Kings would draft a forward. However, that confusion and feeling of uncertainty evaporated almost instantly.
Though he does not play the position Sacramento needed to address, what he uniquely brings to the Kings. In an era of basketball where offense reigns supreme, Mitchell prides himself on his defensive prowess. He quickly earned the nickname “off night” when the rest of the league became aware of his ability to lockdown his opponents. He displayed this fully When he the Kings played the Jazz, Trail Blazers, and Warriors early in the season. Mitchell held Steph Curry, Donovan Mitchell, and Damian Lillard to a combined field goal percentage of 33%. Not bad for a rookie.
Kings rookie Davion Mitchell has a signature moment in his second NBA game - stealing the lunch from Donovan Mitchell leading to a bucket from Terence Davis II on the other end. pic.twitter.com/wneWfJEdqR— Sean Cunningham (@SeanCunningham) October 23, 2021
Over the last 16 years, the Kings have been historically bad on the defensive end. In a league now overflowing with uber athletic guards that are a threat to score the second they cross the half-court line, Mitchell is a necessity for the Kings. He will provide the team with the energy and scrappy style of play that players such as Marcus Smart and Patrick Beverley give theirs.
However, Mitchell has also shown his ability to score and pass the ball very well.
DAVION MITCHELL ANGRY POSTER DUNK pic.twitter.com/BtHLl4cOYa— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) March 31, 2022
In three of the Kings final five games of this season, Mitchell was able to achieve a double-double while still playing impressive defense. With the Kings being an athletic team that moves the ball very fast, Mitchell will continuously be the catalyst that forces an opponent into a turnover that leads to fastbreak points for Sacramento.
With both the draft and free-agency looming, it is uncertain who the Kings will be adding to their roster. But one thing is clear. If the Kings do not acquire an All-Star caliber guard, which is highly unlikely, the city of Sacramento wants Mitchell to start alongside Fox and Domantas Sabonis next season.