Mock Draft Review 2. Davion Mitchell and Ziaire Williams. & Open Thread
This is a series of reviews of published mock drafts. Why do this now, when we don’t even know which pick numbers the Warriors will have?
We are not looking for a precise prediction of draft order. This is a good chance to see the range of players that draft experts think GSW should be drafting outside of the Top 5.
There is an overwhelmingly vast chance that the Warriors will have at least one pick at #6 or below. There is near complete consensus on who the Top 5 should be (Cade, Mobley, Suggs, Green, Kuminga) and zero consensus on who the #6 pick should be.
Now you might think the Warriors are going to trade the picks to get immediate help for next season. I kind of think this too. However, it’s impossible to evaluate a trade and its opportunity cost without looking at what the draft picks might net you.
So without further ado, this mock draft is from Kevin O’Connor from June 2.
#6. Davion Mitchell
SHADES OF Jrue Holiday, Donovan Mitchell, Norman Powell
Guard Baylor / HEIGHT 6'2" / WEIGHT 205 / AGE 22 / YEAR RS Junior /
Taking Mitchell is a win-now move. He can join any team and immediately be an impactful defender. But he has upside on offense after blossoming as a shot creator this past season. Mitchell is the type of player who could help the Warriors now and later.
Elite competitor who took an offensive leap as a junior to become a lottery talent.
Dynamic shot creator who has a speedy first step and can change directions on a dime. He shifts gears with his dribble to keep opponents off-balance, creating space for pull-up jumpers or drives to the rim.
Made a huge leap as a 3-point shooter, going from 31 percent over his first two seasons to 45 percent as a junior. It could be an outlier season, but he looks the part.
Comfortable finishing below the rim with either hand. On his drives, he plays with patience using subtle hesitations and fakes.
Good playmaker who delivers accurate passes to spot-up shooters and rolling bigs. He also looks comfortable handling pressure.
Excellent defender who sets the tone with his intensity, focus, and hustle. He’ll sprint for chase-down blocks, take charges, and dive for loose balls.
Switchable defender with active hands who’s excellent at moving laterally against quick guards. He’s also strong and tough enough to handle larger scorers.
Disciplined pick-and-roll defender who can fight through screens and stick to his man.
High-IQ off-ball defender who is always in the right position, makes smart rotations, and closes out quickly on shooters.
Lacks the type of wingspan possessed by most elite defenders.
Below-the-rim finisher who lacks elite athleticism and could struggle against NBA rim protectors.
Rarely got to the free throw line in college.
Subpar free throw shooter, which raises questions about his high 3-point shooting percentage as a junior.
Profile from Sports-Reference.com
Per 40. Duane Cooper, Will Blalock, Antonio Burks, Adonis Jordan, Mario Chalmers, Michael Gbinije, Lee Mayberry, Kirk Hinrich, Daniel Ewing
Advanced. Shane Larkin, Khyri Thomas, Tyrese Haliburton, Jared Butler, Michael Gbinije, Darius Miller, Grayson Allen, Chris Duarte, Patrick McCaw
NBA Draft Room Comp: Kemba, Jarrett Jack+
Sam Vecenie, The Athletic: The big riser of the NCAA Tournament, Mitchell was one of the best two-way players in the country. He won the national Defensive Player of the Year award due to his toughness at the point of attack. He took on a variety of assignments too, from smaller guards all the way up to guys like Cunningham. But where he made his mark this year was on offense, where Mitchell actualized the tools he has in terms of speed and quickness and became an extremely high-level table-setter as a passer. On top of that, he hit nearly 45 percent from 3. His game looks tailor-made and ready to play in the NBA.
#14 Ziaire Williams.
SHADES OF Brandon Ingram, Cam Reddish
Wing Stanford. HEIGHT 6'8"/ WEIGHT 185 / AGE 19 / YEAR Freshman
Golden State has various wings who complement its stars, like Juan Toscano-Anderson and Andrew Wiggins. Both of them provide defense, and Wiggins will get buckets. But the Warriors could use a high-upside wing like Williams, who brings size and scoring potential that could blossom next to Stephen Curry. Early in his career, he could carve out playing time coming off the bench as a defender.
Lanky shot creator who needs to improve his jumper and his body to maximize his immense two-way potential.
Fluid ball handler for his size who can change speeds and pivot with ease to create space off the dribble.
Go-to-scorer potential if he irons out the kinks in his shooting mechanics; his free throw percentage is a positive indicator for his future.
With such a dynamic handle, he also displays playmaking upside. He’s a score-first player, but a willing passer too.
Heady defender who uses length and anticipation to be a problem in passing lanes. He’s also a good help defender around the rim who can alter shots and take charges.
Needs to revise his shooting form by smoothing out his release and making it more of a clean, one-motion movement.
Doesn’t finish well in traffic and avoids contact at the rim, opting instead for more difficult floaters or deep layups. He also isn’t explosive as a leaper unless he has space to launch off both feet.
Lean frame limits his ability to add weight and muscle, which will determine how effectively he'll be able to defend multiple positions.
Profile from Sports-Reference.com
Per 40. Jaden McDaniels, Cam Reddish, David Johnson, Josh Selby, Omar Cook, Kenny Satterfield, Jamal Crawford, Greg Brown, Trevor Ariza
Advanced. David Johnson, Josh Selby, Justin Jackson, Jaden McDaniels, Cam Reddish, Tyler Honeycutt, Marquis Teague, Greg Brown, Isaiah Cousins
NBA Draft Room Comp: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Sam Vecenie, The Athletic: A bit of a tumble down the board for Williams, who is arguably the most polarizing prospect for evaluators in the class — especially now that his season is over without a Pac-12 Tournament appearance. The big question is how do you deal with his performances versus the context surrounding him. He was inefficient on his way to averaging 10.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists. Stanford had to live out of hotels for the first 50 or so days of its season without access to a regular practice court or workout facility. Like many freshmen, Williams didn’t get a real preseason. On top of it, he had two deaths in his family midseason that caused him to take time away from the team.
Some evaluators are believers and think that once they get Williams into a real developmental system that he didn’t have this year because of all of the context of his situation, he will blossom again into the top-seven prospect everyone thought he was entering the season. He still has real athletic pop and real burst. His feel for the game is pretty good, plus he has real shot-making acumen. But there are others who just don’t buy the frame as being strong enough and think his skill set is so far away that the team that drafts him won’t be the team that gets the most out of Williams. His range is very wide, depending on how the pre-draft process goes.
What they said: “He was a different player after he got back from his absence,” a Pac-12 assistant said. “The tape on him early in the season is better. When he came back, it felt like they were juggling so many different parts, between the (Oscar) Da Silva injury, the (Bryce) Wills injury, Daejon Davis being out. I feel for their staff because it felt like they never got a clean run. And then they won some games when Wills and Ziaire were out, so they had to decide on if they wanted to go with what was working or bring their guys back into the fold. It’s hard to know what to make of Ziaire. He’s kind of a mystery still.”
Sam Vecenie, The Athletic: A complicated evaluation. Williams had a tough year at Stanford, as the team lived out of hotels for the first six weeks of the season, then he left the team in the middle of the season due to a death in the family. On the court, he had some highs, such as a triple-double against Washington. He also averaged 13 points, six rebounds and three assists prior to his month-long departure. Still, his inefficiency left a bad lasting impression in most evaluators’ eyes, and he struggled to deal with the physicality of the game at what looked to be about 175 pounds. Williams is a project, although one with major upside if the right team ends up with him.
I would be quite disappointed in this draft.
Davion Mitchell has a FT% that yells that his senior year shooting improvement is just small sample size. He himself is a sparkplug winner, but is quite undersized.
Ziaire Williams seems pretty far away from impact and doesn’t fit the win-now window.