Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/18/14
The Detroit Pistons selected North Texas forward Tony Mitchell with the 37th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. Mitchell, who was regarded as a lottery pick after a strong freshman season (14.7 points, 10.3 rebounds and 3 blocks), seen his draft stock plummet after an underwhelming sophomore campaign where he averaged 13 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.7 blocks. (Photo Credit: Detroit Bad Boys) The statistical drop-off between his freshman and sophomore seasons isn’t drastic, but given the type of physical specimen and talent Mitchell is, he should have dominated the Sun Belt Conference. For that reason, Mitchell’s draft stock crashed and red flags were raised that questioned his work ethic, attitude and motor. With all these questions brought to the forefront, it still didn’t prevent Joe Dumars from pulling the trigger on Mitchell early in the second-round. Dumars and the Pistons brass were willing to take a chance on the 21-year-old Mitchell and add him to an already deep and talented frontcourt. But, given the depth of the Pistons frontcourt, can Mitchell make an immediate impact and find a way to earn valuable minutes? Here’s why I think he will: Mitchell, standing at 6-foot-9 and 236 pounds, is an unbelievably gifted athlete. Any Twitter handler has probably seen the many posts and videos pertaining to Mitchell’s uncanny dunking ability. At the Orlando Summer League, Mitchell threw down a slew of powerful dunks and displayed springboard-like hops while dominating the offensive glass and emphatically swatting shots away (20 offensive rebounds and four blocks in five contests). Mitchell could be a major factor coming off the bench and rebounding from either forward position. He will also give the team a bench player that can match up physically with big, point-forward type players like Lebron James. It’s feasible that the Pistons don’t want too much on Mitchell’s plate inititially and would love to have Mitchell do what Mitchell does: rebound, block shots and dunk. It seems beneficial for both sides to have him just use his athletic gifts to terrorize teams on the boards. This will allow Mitchell to progress his game on both ends of the floor on the practice court and alleviate any pressure he may feel as a rookie. At the same time, this will give the Pistons a major boost in terms of being able to slowly bring a young player with a high ceiling along and still get something substantially important out of him. Mitchell is known for his freakishly athletic gifts and Herculic frame, but he also has shown a nice touch on the offensive end of the floor. Mitchell highlights usually consist of rim-rattling dunks and thunderous blocks, yet it’s forgotten that he displays a smooth touch from around 15-foot. During the summer, Mitchell showcased his capable shooting ability, but there is much room for improvement. Having Mitchell on the floor will lead to teams sagging off and giving him that jump shot. If Mitchell can take advantage and prove to the team and the league that he can hit that jumper at a consistent clip, his minutes and role will drastically increase. The Pistons would salivate at the thought of using him as a mismatch against all types of forwards around the league. Many small forwards would have difficulties dealing with his immense size and strength and power forwards would have to deal with his overwhelming athleticism and energy. The role of Mitchell coming off the Pistons bench will take shape throughout the season. The Pistons are in the fortunate spot of not having to thrust Mitchell into the mix immediately, but for the reasons I gave above, it may prove to be too difficult to keep him off the floor. Regardless of Mitchell’s role and production this upcoming season, the NBA should have an invite sent to Mitchell already asking for his participation in this year’s Slam Dunk Contest, and if that happens–my money is on Mitchell. Click this link to watch highlights of Mitchell at the Orlando Summer League.  
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

UCLA QB Brett Hundley likely to enter NFL draft

Bills will return to Ralph Wilson Stadium for Sunday's game

Miller to Oregon transfer rumor originates on Reddit

Valencia FC ditches bat logo amidst DC Comics challenge

Paul Pierce: Celtics' Big Three was like 'Holy Trinity'

Cubs reportedly offer Jon Lester more than $135 million

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Colin Kaepernick: Jim Harbaugh will be back in 2015

Jeremy Maclin not happy with Riley Cooper’s contract remark

Broncos reportedly waive kicker McManus, sign Connor Barth

Report: Browns not committed to Brian Hoyer long-term

Pablo Sandoval, Red Sox officially agree to contract

Ex-NFLer passed out in Wendy's drive-thru, arrested for DUI

NBA rookie rankings after 1st month of 2014-15 season

Statistic about Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler very revealing

Aaron Rodgers blasts those who accused him of trolling Vikings

The century's 10 most one-sided college football rivalries

WATCH: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of NBA's first month

Sherman mocks NFL media policies in press conference

Why Packers' offense continues to evolve despite success

'Fire Idzik' billboard updated with suggestion for Jets owner

Watt buys pizza, shows gratitude to Houston firefighters, cops

College football's post-Week 13 Playoff projection

Which teams have the best shot at an undefeated season?

Infographic: Terrell Suggs' sack victims after notching 100th

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Braxton Miller headed to Oregon?

The century's 10 most one-sided college football rivalries

Pierce: C's Big Three like 'Holy Trinity'

Maclin unhappy with Cooper comments

Post-Week 13 CFB Playoff projection

What has Masai Ujiri built in Toronto?

How L.A. should replace Hanley

Lester, Red Sox still talking contract

Why each NFL team should be thankful

Could Kentucky beat the 76ers?

Greatest college football rivalries

LeBron on losing streak: 'I stink'

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.