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3-on-3: Drafting Tony Mitchell at No. 37

1. Which available player should the Pistons have chosen?

Patrick Hayes: Pierre Jackson or Nate Wolters. I like the Mitchell pick – it’s great value getting him there if they can help him mature – but there’s also a chance Mitchell doesn’t pan out, and I think Wolters and Jackson are both rotation point guards in the NBA. Jackson could easily step into the instant offense/pace-pushing role Will Bynum has played well in and Wolters would add another elite 3-point shooter to the perimeter attack.

Dan Feldman: Tony Mitchell. I liked Pierre Jackson, Nate Wolters and Jamaal Franklin, and all three of them would have been safer picks. But Mitchell’s upside is very intriguing. If the Raptors had taken Andre Drummond and Mitchell had entered last year’s draft, he very well could have been Detroit’s pick at No. 9. Despite how much he struggled last season, Mitchell has very high upside, and I definitely expected him to be off the board.

Brady Fredericksen: Mitchell might have been the best selection. I like Jamaal Franklin a lot, but he doesn’t really help the Pistons’ floor spacing and shooting woes. Ricky Ledo would also have been a possibility, but do the Pistons have the capabilities/desire to create a support system for the most troubled prospects in the draft? Pierre Jackson would have been solid, too.

2. How do you grade the selection?

Patrick Hayes: B-. If Mitchell pans out, he’s going to be an incredible pick. But there’s a reason someone with a lottery skillset went in round two. Whether or not Mitchell works out in the long-term, I don’t expect him to contribute much this season. I think Wolters and Jackson both would’ve been good bets to crack the rotation as rookies.

Dan Feldman: A. The Pistons forgave Khris Middleton’s final season at Texas A&M because there was a lot of disarray around him. I questioned that logic, because I didn’t believe Middleton had shown enough during better times to prove there was a solid foundation beneath the sloppy exterior. Mitchell has shown promise Middletown never approached. A team in the Pistons’ position, especially considering they traded a future first-round pick to the Bobcats, have only so many chances to acquire potentially elite players. Mitchell is well worth the risk.

Brady Fredericksen: B. There are no question-free prospects in the second round — they’re all there for a reason. Mitchell has a mid-first round talent, and taking the best player available in the second round is the way to go. He’s not going to be needed to do a whole lot this season — and he can bring a ton of energy and rebounding to the table off the bench — but if he can overcome his attitude issues, he’ll be a really nice pick.

3. Was his freshman or sophomore year more indicative of the player the Pistons are getting?

Patrick Hayes: Well, obviously the Pistons think it was his freshman year. It’s probably more in between, though. I don’t put much stock in the ‘disrespecting his coach’ talk that follows around a handful of college prospects. In all honesty, a lot of college coaches are not worth listening to if you’re a NBA prospect. I am concerned about the competition level Mitchell played against and the fact that the Pistons are currently trying to develop essentially a much better version of him in Andre Drummond. I’m not convinced they have the resources to devote the necessary time to both simultaneously.

Dan Feldman: Logic tells me the more recent season is more telling, but Kevin Pelton of ESPN has done plenty of research into this issue, and he’s found earlier seasons tend to better indicate pro production. I’m not thrilled by how Mitchell slumped through his sophomore season, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s a malcontent and out of the NBA shortly. But his freshman year was so good, it’s difficult to ignore.

Brady Fredericksen: I think it’s a mix of both. I don’t know how good or bad his attitude was at school, but it’s not uncommon for talented guys to have lapses when they’re substantially more talented than everyone else around. It’s hard to keep your focus without ever having the fire of being an underdog, and he’s going to have to work and be focused to have any shot in the NBA. Being around veterans who have experienced the rigors might be something that helps him in that regard.

19 Comments

  • Jun 29, 20137:55 pm
    by Ron

    Reply

    @Patrick I disagree about the Pistons not having the resources to develop both Andre and Tony at the same time. I think they’re gonna be competing against each other day in and day out especially since this is probably the first time that Andre has had a guy on his team that can challenge him and his athleticism. Also from what I’ve seen from videos the Pistons work on the bigs as a group so I wouldn’t worry about having to split up resources between the two.

  • Jun 29, 20138:17 pm
    by oats

    Reply

    I thought this was an easy decision for them. Mitchell had the highest upside of anyone left, and that makes a ton of sense for pick 37 in a weak draft class. As a freshman he didn’t just rebound and block shots, he also had a 3 point shot. If that shot returns he could be the perfect 3rd big, and might even make Monroe expendable if he hits his ceiling. I obviously wouldn’t bet on any of those things happening, but that upside makes him the smart pick in my opinion.

  • Jun 29, 20138:39 pm
    by AYC

    Reply

    Nate Wolters? 

    Seriously, some people show too much love to B-athlete PGs who are mediocre defenders.(Burke, Calderon, Vasquez)
    B athletes tend to get shut down in the playoffs and exposed on defense.  

    Take the guy who can rebound and defend and is one of the best athletes in the draft.  No-brainer. 

    • Jun 29, 201311:42 pm
      by Jon

      Reply

      this comment might make the most sense per word in a post on this website ever

    • Jun 30, 20132:00 am
      by jacob

      Reply

      Agree. Go get Bledsoe or even any other FA pg. Mitchell could be a stud.

  • Jun 29, 20138:45 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    Tony Mitchell went back to college to come out this year in a weaker draft, to move up in the top 10 range.
    But North Texas had a lot of injuries and a whole new coaching staff, im not saying he had the greatest attitude about it but we keep forgetting that these are 19-20 year olds….
    He tried to do way too much, offensively than dominate on the boards and defensively like he is capable of. He’s a freakish athlete, long arms, great nba body with NBA-skill sets.
    For him to be 37th in the draft…. was amazing
    Every mock had him going to the Knicks or Pacers…
     
    I know what he can play come 3 and 4 …he’s alot like Anthony Bennett in that regard but a better athlete
     
     

    • Jun 29, 201311:32 pm
      by oats

      Reply

      No, he is way too slow to play the 3. He’s significantly slower than say Paul Millsap, and Millsap is too slow to play the 3. Mitchell is very clearly a PF.

      • Jun 29, 201311:44 pm
        by Jon

        Reply

        he was projected as a 3 for most of the season until the combine so i wouldn’t say he definitely can’t play the three. after drummond, he might be the best guy we have to defend lebron, melo etc.

  • Jun 29, 20139:04 pm
    by DoctorDave

    Reply

    1. Mitchell is an excellent pick. One year earlier and he’s a late lottery pick. The fact that he’s still here at #37 is almost as unbelievable as… as… Ben McLemore almost being drafted by the Pistons at #8.
    2. A+. A lottery pick in the 2nd round; are you kidding?
    3. I, too, saw the article that Freshman hoops is a better pro indicator than other years – but I don’t buy it. What you have, here, is a talented kid who wasn’t properly challenged and motivated. Drummond & Co. are going to provide all of the challenge he’ll need. He’s more of “Freshman Mitchell” than “Sophomore Mitchell.”

  • Jun 30, 201312:22 am
    by frankie d

    Reply

    mitchell is a low BB IQ underachiever with a questionable motor.
    i would stay away from those guys no matter where they are in the draft.
    if i’m going to gamble on a talented guy, i’d like it to be a guy who at least tried hard even if they didn’t get the desired results.
    maybe they were in a bad system.
    maybe their coach sucked.
    maybe they didnt have any support on the floor.
    but when a guy sucks because he doesn’t try hard enough and does dumb stuff on the court – like continue to shoot jumpers even when he can’t shoot jumpers –  i’ll let someone else gamble on him. BB IQ is probably the most underrated quality any prospect can possess.  and when a guy has a demonstrably low BB IQ, i want no part of him.
    imho, i’d gamble on lesser talented guys who put up big numbers and show some nba skills.
    like mike muscala.  dude was an excellent rebounder in college.  in addition to being a very skilled offensive player.
     at the very least, his rebounding will translate to the nba, and there is at least a chance that he’ll shoot well in the pros.  muscala will make someone’s roster and he will get minutes next year.  i’d bet on it.
    that is who i would have gambled on.
    nate wolters?
    i’d gamble that he’s going to be able to do lots of the stuff he did in college at the pro level.  is he a gamble? absolutely.
    but imho he’s a much better gamble than a guy like mitchell.
    sorry.  i’ve seen too many guys like mitchell flame out after a cup of coffee.
    europe is full of guys like him. 
    why waste a pick? 

    • Jun 30, 20132:06 am
      by jacob

      Reply

      Europe is full of players that are 6’8″ with a 7’3″ wingspan and can jump 38″? hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha Thank you America and Joe D He will be good. He can shoot the three. This will be our best draft pick. waste a pick? wow.

      • Jun 30, 20132:53 am
        by frankie d

        Reply

        Yes, europe is full of athletic guys who just dont get it and end up overseas because they dont get it.  Or they are in china or the d league or someplace other than the nba.
        His specific profile numbers are totally irrelevant.
        If he plays  like he played last year he wont sniff an nba roster for more than a rookie contract and maybe a couple of d league generated 10 day contracts.
        Ask qyntel woods about that.
        I will say this…if he comes in and plays like drummond did – rebounds, defends, scores on high percentage offense – he will truly be a steal.  But i dont think he is as smart as drummond and i think he will revert to what he did last year – jacking up jumpers, being lazy on defense – and he will quickly get cemented to the bench.  
        Hope i am wrong cause i would live to see him make it for my team.
        Just dont see it happening with him. 

        • Jun 30, 20139:53 am
          by I STILL BELIEVE IN BK

          Reply

          Have you by any chance WATCHED any of his pre-draft interviews? He’s addressed these issues already. Joe basically forbade him from being lazy ever again

  • Jun 30, 20133:21 am
    by frankie d

    Reply

    Btw, when i say “europe” i am referring to the european basketball leagues.

  • Jun 30, 20135:11 am
    by Jens

    Reply

    This is easily one of the better picks Joe D has ever made. Remember how many high second round selections we wasted on useless Players? I mean, guys thát had ZERO Impact? Walter Sharpe, DeJuan Summers, Terrico White and so many I´ve probably forgotten. So, there are no expectations on a second round pick. If you try to play it safe like with the Singler pick last year, you will have limited upside as well. A second round pick is no more, than a -maybe 20%-  chance to get an Impact Player. If the upside is clearly there, you have to take the gamble. What I did not like is the Siva pick at 56. I´d have taken another gamble and try C.J. Leslie. 

    • Jun 30, 20131:31 pm
      by frankie d

      Reply

      i have a different view.  I think all draft choices are valuable.
      If joe had not wasted that walter sharpe pick he could have drafted deandre jordan.
      If he had not wasted the summers pick there were several quality players including dejuan blair there for the taking.  I find it hilarious that people are now speculating about chase budinger as a possible pick uo when joe tossed him aside like used toilet paper.
      Joe has, for too long, treated those second round picks with contempt and the team’s roster problems are not unrelated to that attitude.  
      Imho the ironic thing is that joe has identified good talent in many of his  later but has been unable to capitalize. 
       

    • Jun 30, 20136:27 pm
      by Rodman4Life

      Reply

      Yeah, I wanted CJ Leslie!

  • Jun 30, 20133:32 pm
    by Corey

    Reply

    Far less than half of the 2nd round picks pan out into useful rotation players in the NBA. As a result, EVERY GM who lasts any length of time will draft some 2 nd round duds. Guaranteed. No one is omniscient enough to hit on all of them. JoD has been GM about a dozen years. So OF COURSE you can find examples of 2nd round picks he made that failed. you thinking that your ability to identify such a failure after the fact means something means that you don’t understand probability or the difference between prediction and hindsight.  If you want to talk about whether Joe has done poorly or well with 2 nd round picks, at least compare percentages of successful picks vs league average, weighted for degree of success and where in the 2nd round the picks are.

  • Jun 30, 20134:19 pm
    by Vic

    Reply

    Tony Mitchell at #37 is going to prove to be the heist of the decade…. 

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