Golden State Warriors

Warriors select defensive-minded guard from Baylor in NBA Mock Draft by CBS Sports

When it comes to the Golden State Warriors, there’s certainly a theme developing in early NBA Mock Drafts.

With the franchise looking to make a championship run with its aging, superstar core of guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson along with forward Draymond Green, NBA pundits are mocking the most experienced players available to Golden State at No. 7, which is the first of the team’s two lottery selections.

In the latest draft projection from CBS Sports, the Warriors opted for Baylor guard Davion Mitchell, who is fresh off an NCAA title with the Bears.

Here’s their rationale for the pick.

Warriors GM Bob Myers said Tuesday: “We’re not trying to develop players at the risk of losing … That’s not the plan.” In other words, Golden State isn’t interested in drafting a player who can’t help win right now. Fortunately, Davion Mitchell can help right now. He’s a lockdown defensive presence who can play-make from the point guard position, two skills that would’ve come in handy last season for Golden State.

Kyle Boone/CBS Sports

The Warriors already have a reserve guard that can score and make plays on offense in Jordan Poole, but Mitchell’s defensive skills would certainly be welcome. Golden State experimented with guard Gary Payton Jr. in a defensive stopper role late last season.

But my question revolves around Mitchell’s size. At 6-foot-2, will his defense in college translate to the NBA? He does have a powerful frame, however, weighing in at 205 pounds. Curry is roughly Mitchell’s height and weighs 190 pounds, for example.

Mitchell looked dynamite at Baylor though. He was the Defensive Player of the Year in the Big 12 last season, and even shot 44.7 percent from the 3-point line in his final campaign at Baylor, attempting 4.7 shots from distance per game. Overall, Mitchell shot 51 percent from the field in 2020-21.

The last short guard Golden State selected at No. 7 overall worked out pretty well — that was Curry in 2009. Could Mitchell be a wise selection, too? General manager Bob Myers and his staff have lots of homework to do before NBA Draft goes live on July 29 to answer that question, and undoubtedly many more.

(Photo courtesy LockedIN magazine)

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