TONY MITCHELL - PF - 6'9, 235
2013 second round pick Tony Mitchell played sparingly this season, so any evaluation of him should be taken with a grain of salt. Simply put, we don't really know much more about him than we did in July at the end of Summer League. The things we do know are: he's a freak athlete, a solid rebounder and extremely raw. Mitchell only saw 66 minutes of NBA action this season to go along with 262 minutes of D-League play. Mitchell didn't post impressive numbers at either level, but that was to be expected going into this season. Any hopes that Mitchell wouldn't be a multi-year project were merely hopes. Every other profile in this series will use NBA stats, but for this case, it makes more sense to look at Mitchell's D-League numbers:
There is really not a whole lot to like from that line, aside from his rebounding and shot blocking numbers. Other than that, he was merely average from a scoring efficiency standpoint and had a severe issue with taking care of the ball. For anybody who is familiar with Mitchell, this shouldn't come as any surprise. The numbers pretty much line up with what Mitchell did in his sophomore year at North Texas after having a stellar freshman season where he scored with more efficiency.
GRADE FOR 20
OUTLOOK FOR NEXT YEAR
2014-15 Status: Under contract, $816,482
It's hard to say with any certainty that Mitchell stands to see more minutes on the floor in NBA action next season. If he can use this summer to develop any semblance of an offensive game to the point where he isn't a liability, he just might carve out a role as an energy-providing big man off the bench. That role has been filled by Jonas Jerebko the last few years; and Mitchell's situation would certainly be helped if Jerebko doesn't exercise his player option in the offseason. If Jerebko is back, Mitchell may be the biggest beneficiary of the Pistons having a direct D-League affiliate in Grand Rapids. More minutes of game action would help Mitchell develop a better feel for the speed and nuances of the pro game.
Mitchell has all of the physical tools necessary to be a productive role player in the NBA, if not more. If he takes the time to work in the offseason on his scoring touch, he just might give us more than cool pre-game dunks. For now, this is all we have for a glimpse into his future.
2014 SEASON GRADE: I