With the NBA draft hours away all the the final mock are in and there is a consensus pick for the Miami Heat:
Donovan Mitchell, the 6-foot-3, 211-pound shooting guard from Louisville, a player whose skill has been compared to Dwyane Wade’s.
I took a look at 22 mocks and seven had Mitchell going to the Heat. The next most popular picks were: 4 mocks – Johnson Collin, PF, Wake Forest (by way of Cardinal Newman High in West Palm Beach); 3 – Luke Kennard, SG, Duke; 2 – Justin Jackson, SF, North Carolina; 2 – OG Anunoby, SF, Indiana; 1 – Harry Giles, PF, Duke; 1 – Zach Collins, C, Gonzaga; 1 – Ike Anigbogu, C, UCLA; 1 – PF, TJ Leaf, UCLA.
Mitchell was asked at the NBA draft combine in Chicago last month how he can help and NBA team.
“I’m able to defend,” he said. “A lot of guys don’t have that willingness to defend and I think as a guard who is undersized, that’s what everybody says, I’m able to defend and willing to defend and bring that. My jump shot as well, able to hit the shot. Consistency is one thing I’ve been working on a bunch this season and this off-season.”
With very few exceptions, the top 10 picks are the same on every board: Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson, Jason Tatum, De’Aaron Fox, Jonathan Isaac, Malik Monk, Dennis Smith, Lauri Markkanen and Frank Ntilikina in varying orders.
At that point, Pat Riley and the Heat will start getting anxious. Centers Zack Collins, Jarrett Allen and Justin Patton; shooting guards Mitchell and Kennard; power forwards John Collins, Giles and Leaf; and small forwards Justin Jackson and Anunoby pretty much make up the next 10 players.
The guess is Zach Collins will be off the board by the time the Miami is on the clock and their pick will come down who remains between Mitchell, Kennard, Justin Jackson, John Collins, Anunoby, Giles and Leaf.
Mitchell is explosive and athletic who is highly skilled defensively and has the ability to play the point. His quickness and 6-10 wingspan allows him to defend multiple position, which the Heat value. He was first team All-ACC last season, his second at Louisville, averaging 15.6 points and 4.1 rebounds.
ESPN college basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla was asked about Mitchell during a recent conference all.
“Ultimately, he’s going to be a small wing player,” Fraschilla said. “Coach (Rick) Pitino gave him the green light and he took a lot of tough shots this year. He has to shoot the ball better from outside.
“He kind of reminds me of (Celtics guard) Terry Rozier, not in terms of being a point guard, but in terms of being an athletic guard who could turn into a defensive specialist.”