Articles | Commentary | Interviews

Three things Davion Mitchell plans to work on in the offseason

The rookie has a solid campaign, especially to close out the season. He breaks down what he wants to improve on going into next season.

Davion Mitchell proved a lot in his rookie season. He proved the defense is legit, that he can be an offensive threat, he is a really good passer and most importantly, he proved he belongs in the NBA and has a chance to be a highly impactful player on top of it.

And he has much more to prove.

Throughout the start of the season, Mitchell was behind De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton in the rotation and while he showed flashes, he remained a question mark because of his limited playing time. We saw him produce the first time Fox got hurt and sat out a handful of games. After Haliburton was traded, we saw him a little more and once Fox was shut down, we saw a guy who had learned the NBA game and took the reigns as the floor general of an overmatched squad.

Since March 18, Mitchell averaged 39 minutes per game over 11 games. In those minutes, he averaged 18.8 points, 9.3 assists, 2.5 rebounds, .7 steals, 44% from the field, 31% from three and 82% from the free throw line. For those wondering, if he had averaged 9.3 assists per game for the whole season, he would be 4th among all NBA players in assists behind Chris Paul (10.8), James Harden (10.3), and Trae Young (9.7).

He has a reputation as a hard worker, so we should probably assume we'll see growth from Mitchell next season.

In fact, Fox had this to say about his backcourt teammate on Monday.

“We all know Davion is probably the hardest worker that we have all probably seen outside of maybe Kobe [Bryant],” he said.

Mitchell has mentioned three things he would like to improve on: shooting consistency, off-ball defense and leadership.

Shooting Consistency

“There’s a lot of things I want to work on, I think just being consistent shooting the ball is definitely one of the things,” Mitchell said. "We've got two guys who can make plays so if they leave me open, I've got to knock it down."

In the games leading up to the point when he took over as a starter for Fox at the end of the season, Mitchell was averaging 41% from the field, 31% from three and 54% from the free throw line. In the 11 games he started down the stretch, his field goal percentage increased and his free throw percentage increased a lot. His three-point shooting remained the same. If he can get that three-point percentage up it would help the team a lot.

Off-Ball Defense

Mitchell spoke about the team’s defense, his individual defense and the improvements needed.

"Just having that chemistry. Trusting one another. I feel like sometimes we didn't really trust each other like, ‘Oh he doesn't have our back so we’re going to stay with our man,’  but the other guy is going to be wide open, so just trusting each other,” Mitchell said. “And as far as me, just getting better off the ball. I feel like on the ball I do a really good job, but being better off the ball and not just ball watching, also seeing my man. I feel like I got back cut a lot of times this year and they kind of picked on me off ball so that’s one thing I need to emphasize on my side.”

For a guy who is known as such a good defender, it is good to see him be able to critique himself in such a way. He has been talking about getting better off the ball all season, so seeing if that improves next season will be interesting to watch. A new coach, system and players could help with that also from a team defense perspective.

Leadership

“I think the biggest thing for me is just getting comfortable being the point guard out there, not getting sped up, running a team, just kind of being the leader on the floor when Domas [Domantas Sabonis] and De’Aaron are out. Just being the leader and trying to run a team the best way I can,” Mitchell said. “Being a leader is definitely one of the things, I mean it’s kind of hard for you in the offseason, but yeah, those are the things I want to work on.”

Now-former interim head coach Alvin Gentry spoke highly of Mitchell’s progress in the leadership category in the final stretch of the season.

“I think that a month and a half ago, he was still this quiet rookie that would not say very many words, during timeouts say anything, and I think that’s changed drastically. I think that he feels confident, he’s not afraid to have an opinion, a voice, which I think is really good. And even in certain situations where I say, ‘Let’s run this,’ and he goes, ‘Hey, how about this one right here?’ I think that’s all leadership,” Gentry said. “As a coach when you see that you need to embrace it because you want he and De’Aaron when they are running the team to feel like they are running the team and not just robots coming from the coach.”

In the 11 games to close out the season, there was a noticeable difference with Mitchell off the floor. When he was on, the team just ran smoother and you could see him being vocal and directing traffic. This was a good sign, not to mention the numbers he was putting up. The fact that he is open about wanting to build on his leadership qualities is even better.

Mitchell had a really solid rookie season considering the amount of change this franchise went through. The question now becomes can he play next to Fox or will he need to be the spark off the bench? And if he is the backup point guard, will we see who the 23-year-old (he will be 24 when next season starts) can truly become as a player?

Support Us On Patreon
To prevent spam, our system flags comments that include too many hyperlinks. If you would like to share a comment with multiple links, make sure you email [email protected] for it to be approved.
Subscribe
Notify of
13 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
RobHessing
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
April 11, 2022 2:58 pm

2nd on the team in games, 3rd in minutes (only 7 behind Fox).

Shooting is THE thing for Mitchell. He was in Justin Holiday territory for season-long true shooting, well behind DDV, Buddy Hield, Terance Davis… Putting the biscuit in the basket is the #1 area of improvement for Mitchell next season.

SPTSJUNKIE
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
April 11, 2022 9:54 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Agreed. Was impressed by some of his passing. but he won’t (and doesn’t yet have the capability) to be a primary ball handler next year and won’t be getting the 90-100 touches per game he did to end this year.

So the key will be for him to keep playing his intense defense, while improving his catch and shoot and finding ways to score efficiently and balancing scoring/passing, while playing alongside Fox and Ox. And continuing to grow as a PBH when he has time on the floor when they are resting.

Jman1949
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
April 12, 2022 10:19 am
Reply to  RobHessing

Here’s the full bottom 10 in true shooting percentage among qualified players.
1. Jalen Suggs, Magic: 45.5%
2. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Pelicans/Jazz: 47.5%
3. Josh Giddey, Thunder: 47.8%
4. R.J. Hampton, Magic: 48.1%
5. Reggie Jackson, Clippers: 48.8%
6. Davion Mitchell, Kings: 48.9%
7. Cameron Payne, Suns: 50.0%
T-8. Chuma Okeke, Magic: 50.1%
T-8. Tre Mann, Thunder: 50.1%
10. Furkan Korkmaz, 76ers: 50.2%

andy_sims
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
April 11, 2022 3:01 pm

What Davion should work on for the next three weeks is fuck-all.

Get some rest, I don’t care how tough you are, your body will fail you if it can’t recover.

(I love this kid.)

Claystreet
Comments
Comments
April 11, 2022 4:45 pm

Davion will be good simply because he works harder than anyone else. Did anyone see Ham’s report regarding DDV feeling that the Kings tried to lower his value this off-season? He doesn’t sound content with the Kings. I suppose my question is, can this team do anything right?

BrazilianRare
April 11, 2022 5:35 pm

Last 3 games Mitchell really put effort in the “floor general” thing, distributing and passing, getting assists and his teamates involved….
Someone for sure advised him to play like this cause it worked with Haliburton in order to get him traded to a better organization, since Fox cannot cohexist with players like that, you know, playmaker types….

Last edited 11 months ago by BrazilianRare
ArcoThunder
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
April 12, 2022 3:30 am
Reply to  BrazilianRare

First sentence: Ok

second sentence: No

Claystreet
Comments
Comments
April 12, 2022 10:02 am
Reply to  BrazilianRare

I’m very much hoping Fox gets traded. No matter who they put around him, they won’t be a winning team with a huge whole like him on defense.

Sacto_J
Comments
Original Member
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Vote Up
April 12, 2022 2:12 pm
Reply to  Claystreet

Meh. You keep banging that drum and while I wouldn’t call Fox a defensive stalwart, he isn’t exactly this huge whole hole on defense. The advanced defensive metrics from basketball reference have him somewhere in the middle of the pack in several metrics and above Mitchell in a couple. I’d even go so far as to say Fox is actually above average in one on one situations, to an extent.
There’s some other aspects to De’Aaron’s game you could validly be concerned about; slow starts to seasons, this silly “needs to have the ball in his hands to be effective” narrative, his tendency to get banged up and miss important stretches, etc., but his defense isn’t why this team got rolled regularly. IMO the team defense as a whole was trash from the start, and that’s on everyone, players and coaching staff.

eddie41
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
April 11, 2022 8:33 pm

I believe he’ll do that, and will add a couple new tricks to his bag.

TioPiting
April 12, 2022 3:45 am

So Domas, DeAaron, Davion and Donte will be our core next year. Then we’re selecting Darvin as the new coach then draft Dyson and Drew. Now that’s what I call Plan D.

murraytant
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
April 13, 2022 3:49 pm
Reply to  TioPiting

I am not sure what the love for Timme is all about: good college player but in NBA? undersized and no range. Luke Garza was similar last year and he sits at end of somebody’s bench.
Dyson is indeed interesting. Glue guy. But IMO Kings need high level firepower. In top 5- Banchero, Smith and Murray in next group- Davis, Sharpe or Mathurin.
I would pass on Shawn Bradley (Chet) and on Ivey- another PG ?????
Griffin- nope

Badge Legend

Patreon Supporter Patreon Supporter   Registered On Day 1 Registered On Day 1   Published Post Published Post  Published Post Nostradumbass
Comment Up Votes 200 Up Votes   Comment Up Votes 500 Up Votes    1,000 Up Votes    3,000+ Up Votes
Comments 50 Comments   Comments 100 Comments    250 Comments    500 Comments    1000+ Comments