Donovan Mitchell Picked No. 13 in NBA Draft, Nuggets to Trade Him to Jazz

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJune 23, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 19:  Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Louisville Cardinals reacts against the Michigan Wolverines in the first half during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 19, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Donovan Mitchell developed into a two-way force for the Louisville Cardinals from his freshman to sophomore campaigns, and the result is a spot in the NBA.

The Denver Nuggets drafted Mitchell with the No. 13 pick Thursday.

Mitchell will likely wind up with the Utah Jazz. The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Jazz acquired the 13th pick from the Nuggets for Trey Lyles and the No. 24 pick.

KSL's Andy Larsen highlighted that Mitchell has already shown an affinity for the Jazz:

Andy Larsen @andyblarsen

Donovan Mitchell said this about Utah a month ago: https://t.co/TZ5vnnF88C

Scout's Evan Daniels provided a brief scouting report for the Cardinals star:

Evan Daniels @EvanDaniels

Donovan Mitchell emerged during his last summer of HS. Tough kid. Two-way player. Rapidly improving shooter & I think he will continue to.

The New York Mets and Brooklyn Nets guard Isaiah Whitehead congratulated Mitchell:

New York Mets @Mets

Congrats @spidadmitchell, son of Donovan Mitchell Sr. our Dir. of Player Relations/Community Engagement for being drafted. #NBADraft2017 https://t.co/cpZRwKlz7H

Isaiah Whitehead @isaiahwhitehead

Congrats To The Fellow New Yorker @spidadmitchell 💯 #NYC 🗽

Matt Kamalsky of DraftExpress described Mitchell as "among the most explosive players in the country" with "terrific lateral quickness, giving him intriguing potential on the defensive end." Kamalsky projected Mitchell as someone who could defend both guard positions because of that quickness and his overall physical strength, and that was before he averaged 2.1 steals a night as a sophomore.

Mitchell also improved his offensive game as a sophomore, as evidenced by his 15.6 points per game.

The offensive resurgence after posting just 7.4 points a night as a freshman bolstered his stock, especially since his three-point percentage improved from 25.0 to 35.4. In today's perimeter-oriented NBA, Mitchell will likely need to be a consistent threat from three-point range to see significant playing time right away.

He proved he can be just that with the Cardinals and now has the chance to reach his potential at the next level for the Jazz.

His defensive prowess is a perfect fit for Utah considering it was No. 3 in the league in defensive rating in 2016-17, per NBA.com. If he demonstrates the defense he did in college, he can earn a spot in the rotation as soon as his rookie season.

Mitchell also gives the Jazz a backcourt insurance policy in case George Hill doesn't return.


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