Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 9/3/13
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.  
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Bubba Watson's caddie owns heckler at PGA Championship

NFL denies sending Donald Trump letter about schedule

Michael Bennett calls out NFL stars for not speaking up on social matters

Nationals make astute move in acquiring Melancon

Son of former NFL player Antonio Armstrong charged with death of parents

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

U.S. Senator “appalled” by Bettman’s stance on concussions

Team USA’s Opening Ceremony uniforms look a little treasonous

Lawyer who reps concussion lawsuit wants to speak with Bettman

Tyler Eifert says he will never play in the Pro Bowl again

Australian athletes evacuate the Olympic village after fire

Russian weightlifting team banned from Rio

Texans GM 'disappointed' in DeAndre Hopkins

Can Andre Johnson end his regression in Tennessee?

Favre opens up about painkiller addiction during career

Miami women’s basketball coach criticizes Texas A&M following slideshow

Twin Cities preparing for influx of sex trafficking during Super Bowl LII

WATCH: Bautista bat flip will be available as NHL 17 celebration

Former USMNT, current MLS forward Davies battled cancer, in remission

The definitive guide to U.S. Men's Basketball at Rio 2016

Tony Romo training camp picture leads to fat jokes, concern

Matt Cullen’s family eats cereal out of the Stanley Cup

Texas A&M suspends coaches for sexist slideshow

10 most dangerous college football defenders in 2016

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker