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Tony Mitchell jumps six first-round picks in #NBArank

Tony Mitchell surprisingly fell to the Pistons in the second round, and they gladly picked him between Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Peyton Siva. He’ll again fall between the Pistons’ other two 2013 draft picks, coming in at No. 366 ESPN’s #NBArank.

Many considered Mitchell a first-round prospect entering the draft, and he passed a few players who were actually drafted in the first round:

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (No. 15 pick, No. 376 rank)
  • Solomon Hill (No. 23 pick, No. 383 rank)
  • Steven Adams (No. 12 pick, No. 406 rank)
  • Andre Roberson (No. 26 pick, No. 409 rank)
  • Rudy Gobert (No. 27 pick, No. 423 rank)
  • Nemanja Nedovic (No. 30 pick, No. 447 rank)

To me, it’s interesting Mitchell ranks so closely to someone he really reminds me of: No. 369 Tyrus Thomas.

Both are athletic, long power forwards who like to shoot (not to be confused with being good at shooting). They both have nice instincts for blocking shots and using their athleticism to corral rebounds. Obviously, Thomas has been a bust based on his draft position (No. 4 in 2006), but if Mitchell has a Thomas-like career, that’s a steal in the second round.

When I talked to Mitchell at the Orlando Summer League, he came off as a really nice kid. He’s genuine, and he knows what people said about him  before the draft. He’s still a limited player offensively, but in Orlando, he seemed to quiet that pre-Draft questioning of his motor and willingness to play hard consistently a little.

Josh Smith, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond are sure-fire bets to play big minutes in the Pistons’ front court. After that, Jonas Jerebko, Charlie Villanueva and Mitchell can all bring something unique to the table as a power forward. It’s up to Mitchell to prove he belonged in the first round, and he can start by earning Maurice Cheeks’ trust in practice and getting on the court regularly this season.

14 Comments

  • Sep 18, 20138:02 pm
    by hoophabit

    Reply

    Thomas is a good comparison in that they’re very similar in length and athleticism.  Thomas has a small edge in both according to their draft combine measurements.  However, Mitchell is 20 lbs heavier and appears to be the stronger, more physical player.  If Mitchell just defends and rebounds hard he’ll earn minutes.

    • Sep 18, 20138:19 pm
      by Max

      Reply

      Thomas must have a 2-cent head though to not be taking better advantage of his physical talents.   If Mitchell even has a 10-cent head he should be a better player.  

      • Sep 19, 201311:50 am
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Bit of a problem with that analysis:

        Mitchell put up worse per-game stats across the board than Thomas, needed more minutes to get them, played a much easier slate, and most importantly wasn’t nearly as beastly at getting the ball in the hoop (44% shooting compared to 61%–that ain’t close).

        Thomas was a lot more talented than Mitchell. That’s why he went in the top 5 instead of in the late 30s. I like Mitchell but his upside isn’t nearly so high.

        • Sep 20, 20132:20 pm
          by Max

          Reply

          Who cares what Thomas shot in college or even what kind of prospect he was when he was drafted and what his ceiling was at that point?   He has fallen incredibly short of his ceiling.  Are you saying that Mitchell is already doomed to be worse than Thomas because if so he shouldn’t have been drafted by anyone.   And it’s not like 2nd round picks don’t turn out better than some top five picks.   The order of draft isn’t some fixed representation of relative talent anyway.  And even if it was, great physical talent can be trumped by adequate talent with far superior basketball IQ.   Thomas had great talent but he must have had no IQ to turn out as badly as he has.  

          • Sep 20, 20133:16 pm
            by tarsier

            The point isn’t that Mitchell couldn’t outperform Thomas, it’s that it’s far from an inevitability as you suggested.

            Thomas came well short of his ceiling. But 10 and 6 with 1.5 blocks and a steal in 20-25 mpg is a solid rotation player. That is short of Mitchell’s ceiling as well, but it is well above his floor. And probably a bit above what we should most reasonably expect.

            I was not disagreeing that Mitchell could be better than Thomas, but the claim that “If Mitchell even has a 10-cent head he should be a better player” is absurd.

          • Sep 20, 20134:52 pm
            by Max

            I didn’t suggest he will be better than Thomas and certainly not that it was inevitable.  I have no idea if he has a ten cent head or not.  He might have a one cent head.  What I suggested was that Thomas must be dumber than a pile of rocks to have gotten so little out of his talent.  I’d like to think optimistically about Mitchell and I do think that if he has any kind of basketball IQ that he will be better than Thomas.   I don’t know if he does or not but I don’t think many come with lower IQs than Thomas. 

  • Sep 19, 20132:42 am
    by Some Dude

    Reply

    I can’t wait to watch the garbage minutes to see the rookies, that lineup will be fun.

    PG: Siva
    SG: KCP
    SF: Datome
    PF: Mitchell
    C: Harrellson 

  • Sep 19, 20139:26 am
    by Windy

    Reply

    Can’t see Mitchell getting much time this year at all…we have a lot of guys that do what he does only they are more acclimated to the NBA…he needs to just work hard and round out his game…going up the likes of Smith, Dre, Moose, Jerebko and SHEED In practice is a nice way to learn…once Jerebko an CV are done here he will have more of an opportunity…i like the draft pick but it will be hard to see the floor unless we are really up, down or injured…

  • Sep 19, 20134:39 pm
    by Eric

    Reply

    This kid ever gets a shot he could be awesome at the sf he has great d work the o

  • Sep 19, 20136:59 pm
    by KG

    Reply

    Unfortunately, with the depth of the current roster, I see Mitchell and Siva spending most of their season in the D-League.  So while he may not have much of an impact this season, I see him as a Corliss Williamson-type player for us in a few seasons, giving us great scoring and defense as the 6th man on the floor.

  • Sep 22, 201311:10 pm
    by Dylan

    Reply

    Mitchell is a beast at rebounding and he actually shot well in college. He is super raw skill wise, but athletically he is amazing. If he can be coached up like moose and Drummond have I see Mitchell being a rodman type of player. Lots of boards and blocks. I expect him to make open jumpers too. Possibly a Haslem type guy as well

    • Sep 23, 20131:02 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Those are some awfully high expectations for a guy we’ve seen next to nothing from thus far.

      • Sep 23, 201310:00 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        He did look like a good rebounder in summer league and rebounding is the stat that most often translates from one level of play to another.  However, I wouldn’t even mention Kevin Love’s rebounding prowess in the same sentence with Rodman’s and you’d have to go back to Wilt and Russell to find any kind of peer for the worm and even they fall short.  

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