When Donovan Mitchell initially announced that he would be keeping his name in the 2017 NBA Draft, there was a healthy amount of debating amongst Louisville fans about whether or not his decision was a wise one.
In the succeeding six weeks, Mitchell has put himself on the precipice of proving unequivocally that it was. With just a few hours to go until what figures to be one of the biggest moments of his life, Mitchell sits in the top 15 of nearly every NBA mock draft on the internet.
Here’s a complete guide of where the experts have Donovan in their final draft projections.
Sports Illustrated: Pick 11 to the Charlotte Hornets
11. Charlotte Hornets: Donovan Mitchell, Louisville
Mitchell is one of the best athletes in the draft and he'll be an excellent defender wherever he lands. His outside shooting isn't great (35% on 6.6 attempts per game) but he improved significantly over his freshman year (25%), all while assuming more point guard responsibilities. Skeptics would say that he was never that impressive at Louisville, and Mitchell's become a classic case of someone scouts and draft nerds have talked themselves into based solely on combine testing and theoretical potential. And they might be right! But in theory: Mitchell is another version of Avery Bradley, or maybe Malcom Brogdon after several steroid cycles. Either player is someone I'd want in the lottery.
CBS: Pick 12 to the Detroit Pistons
Mitchell is an absurd athlete with terrific measurements, as evidenced by his showing at the NBA combine. His wingspan is 8.75 inches longer than his height (which at just shy of 6-2 is subpar for an NBA shooting guard). He is speedy and an incredible leaper, and he was Rick Pitino's most-trusted player last season at Louisville. With improved 3-point shooting his sophomore year (35.4 percent), Mitchell can score from anywhere he wants. Yes, there's the hero-ball element to Mitchell that NBA coaches will have to pound out of him. But the dude is a high-motor both-ends-of-the-floor type of guy.
Draft Express: Pick 11 to the Charlotte Hornets
SB Nation: Pick 12 to the Detroit Pistons
12. Detroit Pistons - Donovan Mitchell, G, Louisville
Reggie Jackson’s future in Detroit is uncertain at best. Can Mitchell be the Pistons’ point guard of the future? It’s possible. While he typically played off the ball at Louisville, Mitchell has the length and athleticism to overwhelm opposing guards defensively. He isn’t a natural ball handler or shooter, but he did hit 37 percent of his threes as a sophomore. More than anything, he feels like a Stan Van Gundy type of player.
NBA.com: Pick 11 to the Charlotte Hornets
11. Charlotte Hornets
Donovan Mitchell | Louisville | SG | 6-3 | 210
The Hornets would love to see Ntilikina or Smith drop a few spots to find a backup for Kemba Walker, but Charlotte has depth problems in general. Mitchell’s projected ability to play both backcourt spots would be a boost for the Hornets' second unit and give him a chance to break into the rotation. He has the physical tools, with very good athleticism and strength at 210 pounds, both of which help compensate for being undersized for a shooting guard. But his game is inconsistent and lacks 3-point range, two obvious concerns for front offices. He did have some of his better showings against quality opponents.
Bleacher Report: Pick 22 to the Brooklyn Nets
The Sporting News: Pick 14 to the Miami Heat
14. Miami — Donovan Mitchell, SG, Louisville. The Heat have a need at power forward, but they expect to address that through free agency. Anyone they choose here — namely, Zach Collins, in whom they are acutely interested — would require time to be an NBA contributor. Mitchell is a dynamic and athletic scorer who could help the Heat brace for Dion Waiters’ free agency.
Yahoo: Pick 11 to the Charlotte Hornets
11. Charlotte Hornets: Donovan Mitchell, G, Louisville | Sophomore
The blend of explosiveness, versatility and upside Mitchell brings should be enticing for the Hornets. He looks like an ideal backcourt partner for Kemba Walker in the long term, ideally able to defend the other team’s best guard, provide floor spacing and secondary playmaking. Charlotte could stand to get more athletic.