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Davion Mitchell’s work ethic is already earning praise

The Kings got themselves a worker.

It hasn't taken long for Davion Mitchell to make an impression. It's obvious to anyone watching the California Classic or Vegas Summer League that Mitchell is a tenacious defender who puts in an extraordinary level of effort on the floor. Thanks to Yahoo's Chris Haynes, we know that extends beyond the court as well.

Haynes shares a story of a practice scrimmage where Mitchell was suffering some cramps. Summer League coach Bobby Jackson pulled Mitchell aside to find out what was going on.

Mitchell divulged he had worked out at 8 a.m. for a few hours and then returned to the gym around noon for another hour or so workout before the 5 p.m. practice. The Kings then made the decision to pull him from practice.

“I just looked at him and said, ‘You really worked out twice before coming here? Bro, you can’t be doing that,’” Jackson said of his recollection. “He has an unbelievable work ethic. He’s a tough kid and competitive as they come. But we’ve definitely had to scale him back a little. He’s just wired differently.”

The Kings made Mitchell stop practicing for the day to take care of himself. But Mitchell was still trying to get extra work in before Tuesday's game against the Wizards:

“He called me this morning and asked if we can go to the gym and get some shots up, and I said, ‘Young fella, there isn’t a gym available,’” Jackson said. “He’s trying to get some real work in on gamedays, and it’s not for show. He just wants to be in the gym. We just have to teach him how to manage his body on gamedays because he can’t do that for 82 games. I’m never going to tell a player to not work hard, but there are ways of doing it smart.

“He gives our team a toughness we really haven’t had. And it’s no knock on our guys, but he’s different. When you’re a small guy, you’ve got to fight and scrap for everything, and so I get why he works so hard. This brother is special, and we’re lucky to have him.”

That toughness and work ethic are the key to becoming a fan favorite in Sacramento, and it seems clear that Kings fans are going to love have Davion on the team.

The whole profile is worth you time, be sure to check out the whole thing. Davion talks to Haynes about his mental approach to the game, his reaction to questions about fitting in with Fox and Haliburton, and about proving people who doubt him wrong.

I was as confused as anyone when the Kings drafted another guard on draft night, but I've very quickly become a big fan of Davion as I've watched him play in Summer League. Hearing these types of stories about his work ethic only adds to that excitement.

 

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johnnyi
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August 11, 2021 11:26 am

I’m stoked!

andy_sims
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August 11, 2021 11:31 am

I read the article yesterday, and all you can think is, this guy is looking better and better all the time. It’s always easier to teach someone to dial it down than it is to instill a serious work ethic. I speak from experience, as no one has ever been able to get me to do more than the bare minimum.

Probably should have kept Whiteside around to show Mitchell how to pace himself.

johnnyi
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August 11, 2021 11:32 am
Reply to  andy_sims

Oof yet again. 😉

Want2win
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August 11, 2021 4:03 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

The Whiteside comment might be one of your funniest ever!

Hozr
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August 11, 2021 10:10 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Or WCS, or Donte Green, or… you get the point.

sactownchad
August 12, 2021 11:37 am
Reply to  andy_sims

Andy, can I speak to you for a minute?

office-space-2.jpeg
andy_sims
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August 12, 2021 12:14 pm
Reply to  sactownchad

Well, that’s fair.

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jwalker1395
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August 11, 2021 11:45 am

What has excited me most besides the lock-down defense is how effective he still is on offense. He’s already a refined two-way player who can give you good minutes in the NBA so now it’s just a matter of improving with time and reps. McNair found a guy that’s gonna be able to contribute right away but seemingly still has a lot of room for growth. Along with Queta, I’ll say Monte has at the very least proven he’s an above average drafter.

arbexfernando
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August 11, 2021 11:56 am
Reply to  jwalker1395

I only watched the highlights. He made a layup that I thought he should have used his left hand. Not a big concern, just something maybe the coaching staff should pay attention.

2018DraftTimeMachine
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August 11, 2021 2:07 pm
Reply to  arbexfernando

Tony Parker bored the shit out of me for nearly 20 years by doing right-handed scoop layups on the left side of the glass.

arbexfernando
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August 11, 2021 2:49 pm

If that is Mitchell’s case, I’ll be happy as hell

Hamlet1989
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August 12, 2021 8:13 am
Reply to  jwalker1395

Monte has proven he’s good at mechanical drawing?

arbexfernando
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August 11, 2021 11:49 am

Today this article was subject of a brief comment from Stephen A. during First Take. Kings are not often even mentioned in national shows.

Hobby916
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August 11, 2021 12:19 pm
Reply to  arbexfernando

How is Stephen A. still employed? He is terrible.

BestHyperboleEver
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August 11, 2021 12:48 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

Because analysis is judged by clicks, views, and comments instead of insight these days.

Kosta
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August 11, 2021 12:51 pm

Damn. Well STR nowadays has neither the clicks, views, comments, nor the insight.

(puts 50 cents into the “No Bringing Up STR” jar)

Last edited 1 year ago by Kosta
Hozr
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August 11, 2021 10:23 pm
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But they’re looking for local writers! That’ll get the clicks up (damn, where’s that jar).

Dub_TC
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August 13, 2021 1:07 pm
Reply to  Greg

Stephen A Giraffe

Hozr
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August 11, 2021 10:21 pm

The other guy isn’t any better. That dude must drink 50 expressos before he goes on. Somebody get that man a stress pill.

2018DraftTimeMachine
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August 11, 2021 2:08 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

Not to mention his Ohtani comments … not sure how he made it through that one.

andy_sims
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August 11, 2021 3:34 pm

That’$ a my$tery that may never be $olved.

satdawg
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August 12, 2021 12:20 am
Reply to  Hobby916

He’s not that bad. Your not gonna hit on every single prediction but he provides some good nba insight

atwork
August 12, 2021 4:25 pm
Reply to  arbexfernando

Stephen A Smith has his issues, but there was nothing wrong here. Smith may not have said the Kings at first but it is not like he did not acknowledge them in his take.

kings4ever
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August 11, 2021 11:58 am

10 FGAs in Game 1 of LVSL, 8 FGAs in Game 2. I like that Off Night is not a thirsty scorer. He has burst and juke moves but he is not compelled to “get his” first and foremost, a la Jalen Green. He takes shots in the context of optimal shot seeking regardless of who shoots.  

If he was not this way, if he had a chip on his shoulder like Isaiah did as a rookie, there’d be no way Ramsey would have got up 18 FGAs two games ago. Last night Mitchell tied for 3rd in FGAs (8) with Ramsey (8) and behind King (13) and Metu (9). Heck, even some guy named Murkey managed 7 FGAs in 14 minutes, only one less than Mitchell.

Greg Anthony made a related point Mitchell “does not preordain what he is going to do….” but lets the defense dictate his decision making. That is not a player who is going to force his offense. 

This approach enables Davion to reserve energy for defense too, making his lockdown ability more sustainable. This is in contrast to Fox, who reserves his energy for offense. It is not like either is coasting on the other end. I see their respective energy expenditure like this: 

Fox 100% offense 80% defense
Davion 80% offense 100% defense

These differing approaches, conducive to their respective skills, are complementary, as opposed to two scoring PGs taking turns looking to score. That is when you run into issues when one ball is not enough. 

Ultimately you cannot be a good set up man if you do not present the threat to score; and you do not maximize your offensive effeciency if you do not use your shot creation ability for yourself and others. The first instance alludes to Mitchell and the second to Fox so I expect there will be natural harmony between them and the team. 

The other dynamic is the “multiplier effect” that can occur when you have a 6’0″ teammate taking away airspace from every man he guards, often the best scorer. How contagious may this be? Holmes and Ty have commented on the lethality of Mitchell as a defender and the renewed focus and dedication this may inspire indiviudally and collectively. 

For this reason you have to reconsider the idea of Bagley, Holmes and Davion for Simmons. If we have a younger Kyle Lowry in our midst, and remember Lowry is an NBA Champion and consummate leader who got a bag at age 36, do we want to reliquinsh him for a player who just pulled one of the biggest choke jobs in NBA playoff history?  Not to mention Simmons personality inspires passivity, a non-leader, whereas Davion inspires ferocity & extra effort.

Simmons is sensitive to his image too, wanting to perceived as the coolest guy in the room. Davion does not need to try to be cool, he just is. 

I want Simmons on the team, Bagley and Buddy off, and future firsts and swaps do not matter a lot to me if when the deal is consummated the team is complete and we project as a top contender for 5 years. The prohibitive issue is there is not a deal to be made because we are not talent rich enough to cede to the fair demands from TOR (Siakum) or PHI (Simmons), namely surrendering Ty or Mitchell. Fox is obviously off the table. And throwing in Barnes is not going to get it done.

It is for these reasons we should just focus on adding Markennan for Buddy or Bagley. This will make our off season a solid A- grade and provide us with the starting PF we are lacking. I wonder what is going on with Markennan, its been rather quiet on that front, which usually means something about to break.

bjax1
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August 11, 2021 12:29 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

I agree about giving up Hali and Davion as being more than I want to do, but Markennen does not “move the needle” as Jerry says. If I were Monte, I’d hold firm on Buddy or Barnes (preferably Buddy) and Bags and up to 3 firsts. That said I’d much prefer Siakam over Simmons.

Bbmuteman
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August 11, 2021 1:20 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

I think I read on pounding the rock that markannen would have been a spur already if his asking price would go down. He was looking to get 20 million a year, and that’s crazy for a big with his injury history. He might end up like nerlens noel back with the mavs.

rockbottom
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August 11, 2021 7:13 pm
Reply to  Bbmuteman

It was clear when Donavan moved Lari ti the second unit that his value to the Bulls had changed !

BeTheBall
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August 11, 2021 7:36 pm
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Markannen is going to end up Schroder’ing himself. Another injury would just add insult to injury (for both of them).

andy_sims
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August 11, 2021 1:27 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

Agreed, the fact that he’s not been a primary scorer before, and won’t need to be in the NBA should make his transition easier. He’s not being asked to be something that he isn’t, which is an ill-fitting suit often imposed on rookies.

All he’s got to do is improve the many things he’s good at, and the handful that he isn’t. If he can get to 70-75% for free throws this season, and approach league-average from three, we’ve got ourselves a player.

PlayoffModeT
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August 11, 2021 12:04 pm

Love to hear it. I just hope the staff saves him from himself.

Example, if he is having back issues in SL, please dont allow him to keep playing. I cant wait to see him with Fox and Hali!

BuffaloDiaspora
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August 11, 2021 1:51 pm
Reply to  PlayoffModeT

“Back issues” covers a lot of ground, though. If it’s an actual injury, sure he should sit. If it was more of “perhaps deadlifts were ill advised yesterday”, well, he can play through the soreness with no long term problems. It might suck, but DOMS isn’t actually an injury.

andy_sims
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August 11, 2021 3:45 pm
Reply to  PlayoffModeT

Modern medicine has a lousy record of treating the back.
We spend too much time on the front.

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Carl
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August 11, 2021 12:06 pm

Haven’t read the full article, but I read that before the game against Bouknight that Davion was up watching film the night before, and it clearly paid off. I read the same thing in earlier articles about him. This kind of thing is how you end up an immediate fan favorite in Sac, almost regardless of your on floor impact.

Kosta
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August 11, 2021 12:17 pm
Reply to  Carl

imagine if our head coach did the same thing!

Davion was up watching film the night before

KingOfTheMonsters
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August 11, 2021 1:21 pm
Reply to  Kosta

He was, but the film was probably “Sex in the City” or some such shit.

Putthegundown
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August 11, 2021 3:19 pm

Court Cam more likely 😂

AllHailBurton
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August 11, 2021 5:04 pm

Floored

andy_sims
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August 11, 2021 1:31 pm
Reply to  Kosta

I mean, Walton is always looking at the film, or at least suggests that he’s going to. I’d imagine it’s like having the TV on in the background while you do something else, in his case, vigorously swiping right.

2018DraftTimeMachine
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August 11, 2021 2:09 pm
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Luke’s problem is no one has VHS tapes available any more.

RobHessing
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August 11, 2021 12:19 pm

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TerzoM
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August 11, 2021 12:28 pm
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TerzoM
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August 11, 2021 12:33 pm

Monte trying his best to right Vivek’s ship.. and shitcomment image

Kosta
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August 11, 2021 12:46 pm
Reply to  TerzoM

Monte: The Professor
Vivek: (The Millionaire) Thurston Howell the Third
Matina: Lovey Howell
Vlade: The Skipper
Kyle Guy: Gilligan
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(When you think about it, where the heck were they going to on a three hour tour? Catalina Island makes sense, but damn they got hella far out away from there.)

Last edited 1 year ago by Kosta
andy_sims
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August 11, 2021 1:33 pm
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Well, the weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed. Under those circumstances, it was something of a miracle that the Minnow wasn’t lost.

Kosta
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August 11, 2021 12:36 pm

Davion’s influence is already rubbing off on those around him. Heck, even Walton has decided to break a sweat.
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Last edited 1 year ago by Kosta
BabalooMagoo
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August 11, 2021 12:48 pm
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Wonder if he breaks a sweat watching tape? Oh that’s cold sweats. Never mind.

Last edited 1 year ago by BabalooMagoo
Kosta
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August 11, 2021 12:57 pm
Reply to  BabalooMagoo

“Walton, you’ll be going up against Corey Maggette tomorrow. I want you to watch his tape tonight before bed.”

(gulp) “You mean Corey ‘Bad Porn’ Maggette??”

http://www.nbamixes.com/worst-nicknames-in-nba-history/8 (go to page 8)
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Last edited 1 year ago by Kosta
Rosevillain
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August 11, 2021 12:54 pm
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Can’t unsee that. My day is ruined now.

TerzoM
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August 11, 2021 2:10 pm
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Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

RobHessing
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August 11, 2021 12:59 pm
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“And now, the hotel room position…”

andy_sims
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August 11, 2021 1:34 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Stretching before he goes outside to suntan his taint.

OLDBHOY
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August 11, 2021 1:14 pm

I love that Bobby Jackson (probably my fav King ever) is coaching Mitchell right now.

“He gives our team a toughness we really haven’t had. And it’s no knock on our guys, but he’s different. When you’re a small guy, you’ve got to fight and scrap for everything, and so I get why he works so hard. This brother is special, and we’re lucky to have him.”

This could have easily been a quote about Jackson during his hey day with the Kings.

I really hope the work ethic, tenacity, competitiveness and defense is contagious. I am very excited to see Mitchell and Holmes on the floor together. Now Holmes has a tough nosed perimeter defender to play with.

Kosta
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August 11, 2021 1:48 pm
Reply to  OLDBHOY

Yeah, it’s a perfect pairing. Coach Bobby Jackson with Davion Mitchell. This is good, as Brown would say.
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NorCalKingsFan
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August 11, 2021 2:41 pm
Reply to  OLDBHOY

Bobby Jackson is taking SL seriously, and I love it. I don’t know if it is just his way or if he knows that several of these guys will be on his Gleague team and just wants to get his program off to a good start. But boy does he deserve credit for getting them to play defense.

R-man
August 11, 2021 11:19 pm
Reply to  OLDBHOY

Davion reminds me a little of Bobby as a player. If Davion can continue to improve his outside shot (like Bobby did), he could have a similar career, which would make this a great pick. There’s a lot of parallels there.

Henry
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August 11, 2021 1:40 pm

Still think Sengun was BPA (Hou got a steal), but from what I’ve seen I’m pretty happy Mitchell’s on the team. Totally agree with the Kyle Lowry comparison. he has the floor game, for sure. Remains to be seen if he’ll be as clutch as Lowry, but he may have even more defensive upside.

Last edited 1 year ago by Henry
RobHessing
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August 11, 2021 1:44 pm
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I think that there will be a player or two that went after him that will wind up being better, but he has the appearance of a guy that will more than justify him going 9th in this draft.

Henry
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August 11, 2021 1:49 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Yup, that’s where I’m at. Sigh of relief and twinge of excitement.

I’ll add that I’m also kinda getting Rodman vibes with the insanely relentless workouts and obsession with defense.

Kosta
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August 11, 2021 1:50 pm
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I envy the Houston fans that saw their team add Jalen Green and Sengun (and Garuba). What a frickin’ draft night for them.

andy_sims
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August 11, 2021 2:02 pm
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That’s just two extra helpings of fun added to that recipe. Houston could win 25 games or 50, depending on how well the many injured guys come back.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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August 11, 2021 2:14 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

If Wall and Wood can stay healthy while Green and Sungun make claims for ROY, I could see them finishing with a better record than the Kings.

BestHyperboleEver
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August 11, 2021 3:38 pm
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To say nothing of KPJ and KMJ, who both showed really high level flashes last year.

rockbottom
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August 11, 2021 7:20 pm
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If the 40 million diva- decides he wants to be a player again the Rox could shake up things !

Rosevillain
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August 11, 2021 2:15 pm
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That’s because you’re seduced by the beautiful play. Sengun can’t stop anyone, and Green doesn’t want to. Hou will give up 120 a game. Doesn’t mean I don’t like those guys, but Dave is exactly what our softies needed.

itsjabby
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August 11, 2021 2:50 pm
Reply to  Rosevillain

I was just thinking this. Sengun looked amazing offensively, but the defense looked Marvin Bagley-esque

BestHyperboleEver
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August 11, 2021 3:39 pm
Reply to  itsjabby

I’m guessing he’ll be fine (and by “fine” I mean not a complete train wreck) once they get into the season and have an actual team system in place. Summer league is all about 1v1.

RobHessing
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August 11, 2021 3:53 pm

And I think that he turned 19 a couple of weeks ago, so there is definitely a chance that there is some untapped potential there.

Rosevillain
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August 11, 2021 4:25 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

He’s got the same heavy legs as Papa John’s. If you aren’t quick at 19, you’re probably not gonna be. I think he’ll always be a liability on D. Conversely, nobody in the NBA looks like Mitchell. He’s Tyreke Hill on a basketball court. He literally jumps out of the screen.

RobHessing
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August 11, 2021 7:03 pm
Reply to  Rosevillain

You mean the same heavy legs as Nikola Jokic? Sold!

Players can play. Sengun’s “heavy legs” are every bit the canard as Mitchell’s lack of height.

rockbottom
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August 11, 2021 7:28 pm
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Heavy legs like Vlade, Miller, Jokic, Vucivich et all! Kid will likely be a top pro for 15 years ! Skill, smarts and toughness has always seemed to work !

Rosevillain
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August 11, 2021 7:41 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Very well, but I was only talking about D. Clearly, he has offensive skill. But Jokic’s D doesn’t inspire either. Both will always be limited as unswitchable, non rim defenders.

RobHessing
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August 12, 2021 8:02 am
Reply to  Rosevillain

Jokic wins his position on most nights while making his teammates better, yes? I’d like to place an order for a few of those for the Kings, please.

Rosevillain
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August 12, 2021 10:30 am
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I think you just got one.

RobHessing
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August 12, 2021 10:43 am
Reply to  Rosevillain

I like what I have seen from Mitchell. Rockets fans must like what they have seen from Sengun. It will be interesting to see how they take their SL momentum into their respective camps.

richie88
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August 12, 2021 2:27 pm
Reply to  itsjabby

If Sengun becomes too much of a liability on D, they can have Garuba play instead. Garuba could be an excellent defender.

rockbottom
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August 11, 2021 7:24 pm
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Exactly what was said about Jokic in his first season ! This kid is going to be very good for Houston ! Davion will be for the Kings !

andy_sims
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August 12, 2021 12:16 pm
Reply to  Rosevillain

Beautiful play and your mom!

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August 12, 2021 2:27 pm
Reply to  Rosevillain

If Sengun becomes too much of a liability on D, they can have Garuba play instead. Garuba could be an excellent defender.

murraytant
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August 13, 2021 10:14 am
Reply to  richie88

Like hockey- line switches

RAP87
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August 11, 2021 2:27 pm
Reply to  Kosta

and Christopher as well. I was impressed by their draft selection. I maybe bias since I’ve been an advocate for Alperen Sengun since day 1 but he looks like a guy who can be really good in a couple of years.

2018DraftTimeMachine
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August 11, 2021 2:05 pm

I liked this pick before, during and now after the draft.

Don’t worry that he’s “old” – LOL- all NBA rookies used to be 22 and most were better players than the one-and-done scrubs currently clogging up NBA rosters and soon to be on their way to Europe.

And don’t worry that he plays guard – the cream rises to the top and good teams rarely regret drafting BPA.

Drafting for position is what got us Marvin Bagley.

OLDBHOY
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August 11, 2021 2:45 pm

Preach!

AmateurNerd
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August 11, 2021 3:29 pm

Option 1: Pick a 22-year old with a clear track record of high-level basketball achievement and several clearly observable NBA-level basketball skills.
Option 2: Pick a 19-year old with great “measurables” and major holes in his basketball skillset, under the assumption/hope that he will develop those skills to their full potential. There is no way to determine what that “full potential” might be; therefore, just assume it is Hall-of-Fame level, because “potential” is non-falsifiable.

I simply do not understand why teams “penalize” players for being older (read: 22 instead of 19). Why is having experience and a defined, observable NBA-caliber skillset considered a negative? Why do so many teams/scouts/etc. assume that a 19-year old with little actual basketball skill is going to become a superior player to the 22-year old who already possesses much of that skill? Do they not realize that the 19-year old is going to become 22 someday, and in those 3 years there is absolutely no guarantee they will develop their skills up to the level that the today’s 22-year old already has? The draft lottery is riddled with busts who were drafted on potential: “Oh, he’s RAW, but that’s actually a GOOD thing, because it means he can get better!” Oh, and you’d rather roll that dice than go with the guy who’s already good, because the guy who’s already good has a “ceiling” based on the fact that… what, he’s already good? It’s lunacy. I give Monte a ton of credit for using his first 2 lottery picks on players who are full-stop GOOD AT BASKETBALL, instead of guys who can jump super high but can’t dribble or see the court beyond their own nose (cough cough Bagley).

WizsSox
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August 11, 2021 3:53 pm
Reply to  AmateurNerd

It’s not lunacy…it’s data. Why penalize older players? I would say this is why:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/fivethirtyeight.com/features/drafting-sophomores-is-a-smart-strategy-for-nba-teams/amp/

This discusses sophomores but clearly freshmen on average produce more in short and long term than seniors. It’s just an overall talent discrepancy. If those guys had equal talent to the Freshmen that get chosen, they likely would have come out earlier. I think this is especially true in the lottery picks. Lottery seniors who have been successful the last 20 years are few and far between, but they can exist. Each teams circumstances are different when on the clock so it’s not dumb to choose an older player necessarily but data generally doesn’t support the choice.

All that said, Davion looking like a good pic and I think it was a good pic despite initial 2 hours of shock. But if Z Williams, Moody or Sengun become all stars, and Mitchell doesn’t, half this board is going to be bitching why didnt the Kings swing for the upside pick, especially in this market. Might be fair too.

Last edited 1 year ago by WizsSox
OLDBHOY
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August 11, 2021 4:24 pm
Reply to  WizsSox

Interesting. I would say being specific to the Kings I can’t remember many draft picks with potential turning into a stars. Usually it’s the complete opposite.

Maybe Gerald Wallace after he left the Kings? He was very young when drafted.

Maybe Peja or Hedo? They were mostly unknowns.

With the Kings track record I am pretty happy with a little older sure thing who lives up to it. If someone behind Mitchell turns out better I can live with it, better than a total whiff (cough, Bagley).

WizsSox
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August 11, 2021 4:29 pm
Reply to  OLDBHOY

better than a total whiff

Kings fan draft philosophy in a nutshell. I feel you and I
have said the same : )

Yeah Kings have been historically bad at drafting, but I wouldn’t suggest Monte draft based on the track record of Pete or Vlade. Sure you aren’t either.

This article was interesting too (mainly second half is the meat): https://www.libertyballers.com/2016/4/13/11376588/nba-draft-age-star-superstar-draft-analysis

Last edited 1 year ago by WizsSox
OLDBHOY
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August 12, 2021 7:30 am
Reply to  WizsSox

Thanks for the article. Interesting!

Personally, I don’t go overboard on the data/stats. I tend to go by the eyeball test. And from what I have seen so far my eyeballs say Mitchell can play and ‘gets it’.

I think that is one thing that data can’t convey… whether a player ‘gets it’. It’s hard to even quantify but anyone who knows basketball at all can see it.

AmateurNerd
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August 11, 2021 7:40 pm
Reply to  WizsSox

I won’t argue against the idea that freshmen and sophomores often make better picks than seniors. The best college players often go pro early, and most of the players who stick around through Senior Night are still there because they don’t project to be good pros–and oftentimes, this is due to significant physical limitations, which the blue-chip frosh and soph prospects almost never have. Having big physical upside can be enough, almost by itself, to “show out” in college and thus gain the attention of NBA scouts. It covers up for deficiencies in actual skill. I would argue that there is a general threshold of physical ability required to play exceptionally well in the NBA, which can vary depending on position, system, etc. I suspect a lot of the “raw” frosh and soph prospects who get drafted every year are way above this threshold, which is why they get picked (they’re like flashy sports cars on the lot), but they come up short in the end because they don’t actually have the skills potential everyone imagines they do (they’re the sports car that breaks down a lot). Meanwhile, I suspect there are several junior and senior prospects each year who are ignored because they are not so far above the physical ability threshold, even though they are at the threshold or slightly above it. They are “good enough” physically to succeed in the NBA, once their actual skill set is factored in. They deserve a longer look.

The few people who rated Bagley higher than Doncic in 2018 did so largely because of Bagley’s physical profile–he was seeing as having a higher ceiling simply because he could jump higher and run faster than Luka. They forgot that Luka, despite not being a physical phenom, was still more than “good enough” in that department, and had approximately 100x more actual basketball skill (read: realized potential) than MB3 to boot. (Yes, ironically, Luka was a teenager, too–you could argue this shows that it is not unreasonable to expect teenage prospects to have some kind of developed skillset, and if they don’t, it is a red flag.)

Hozr
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August 11, 2021 10:43 pm
Reply to  AmateurNerd

Luka is an outlier though. He didn’t just have potential. Dude turned pro at 16. He had what, 3 years experience as a pro before he even got drafted!

WizsSox
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August 11, 2021 11:24 pm
Reply to  AmateurNerd

I mean some of this is true sure…but it is what it is. Whatever the reasons, you have a better chance at getting a meaningful/star player taking the upside Frosh/Soph vs the Junior/Senior. Doesn’t mean either can’t be successful, but there are good reasons to be suspect of older players and what they will develop as a ceiling. Whether that’s important is up to each individual team/needs.

They are “good enough” physically to succeed in the NBA, once their actual skill set is factored in. They deserve a longer look.

I would guess NBA teams would say, they have had a longer look. An extra couple years and 60 more games of tape to make enough GMs think they don’t have upside, pushing them down the draft board. Some pop on occasion, but the vast majority don’t. At a worse rate than younger players, statistically.

As far as the Bagley pick, I think there was only one person by draft time who rated Bagley as a higher prospect than Doncic because of better athleticism/ceiling…and he no longer has a job.

Last edited 1 year ago by WizsSox
richie88
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August 12, 2021 2:37 pm
Reply to  WizsSox

I remember there was a guy at CBS Sports who wrote that he thought Bagley was the best prospect in the draft (which seemed ludricous then & seems even more ridiculous now).

Kfan
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August 11, 2021 5:30 pm
Reply to  AmateurNerd

Think it should be a red flag for a 19-year-old to have poorly developed skills. Means he could be lacking in work ethic and has been coasting on his natural ability. The exception to this is the foreign player that grew up playing soccer and came to basketball late.

AmateurNerd
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August 11, 2021 7:41 pm
Reply to  Kfan

Right. A 19-year old who can’t dribble or lay it up confidently with both hands, or can’t play basic help defense, should be considered a walking red flag.

andy_sims
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August 11, 2021 3:48 pm

I agree with all of this, other than the suggestion that VD drafted for position. He just wanted to show how brilliant he was by going against the conventional wisdom.

Carl
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August 11, 2021 9:02 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

He just wanted to show how brilliant he was by going against the conventional wisdom.

I think this applies to Vivek even more than Vlade. Not to say that Vivek made the picks or whatever, but he seems overly enamored with his ideas.

andy_sims
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August 12, 2021 8:29 am
Reply to  Carl

That’s probably fair, although if I had started with squat and became a billionaire, I’d also be inclined to think that I had some magic going on in the old brain pan.

That said, everyone isn’t a genius at everything. Prince, maybe.

Carl
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August 12, 2021 9:30 am
Reply to  andy_sims

That said, everyone isn’t a genius at everything.

Definitely this.

4on5
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August 11, 2021 3:33 pm

Apparently Jason Kidd would not find this level of work sufficient

andy_sims
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August 11, 2021 4:13 pm
Reply to  4on5

Jason Kidd used his son as a human shield during a press conference in 2005 about alleged adultery and spousal abuse on his part. Absolute scumbag.

It must have cost him a fortune to scrub it from the intarwebs, because there is next to nothing about any of it sitting out there.

SneakerKing
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August 12, 2021 9:45 am
Reply to  andy_sims

Wonder how Luka and the Mavs will enjoy stuff like this..comment image:large

SneakerKing
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