2013 Draft preview: Power Forwards - Tony Mitchell could be worth a chance

Eric Francis

Part 2 of TheMoon's draft preview. Centers were discussed here.

1. TONY MITCHELL (North Texas)

It is hard to escape the feeling that one way or another Tony Mitchell is going to get somebody fired. His combination of physique, athleticism and physical impact is reminiscent of Derrick Favors, Kenneth Faried, Josh Smith or Amar'e Stoudemire, which makes him one of the more enticing players in the entire draft.

Several problems. The first is that Mitchell simply fell apart this year. Scouts noted that he failed to exert any effort during many of his games, something he himself has corroborated in draft/combine interviews. The putative reason for this collapse was a disastrous coaching change, a theory which gains credence from the fact that the entire team appears to have fallen apart right along with Mitchell. Even if you accept that as a plausible excuse, I don't think it is out of line to wonder about the mental toughness, professionalism and commitment of someone who lets himself be taken down by such circumstances. Pro athletes need to be focused, solid, unwavering, which is why David Foster Wallace once said they are like modern monks, albeit less sexually active.

The other problem with Mitchell is poor quality of competition. I count only four decent teams he faced during his two years in college (Creighton, Lehigh, UVA, Saint Louis). The good news is he did really, really well against these teams. And what is even more interesting is all of these games took place this year, when Mitchell otherwise imploded statistically. Here are his per40 numbers in those four games versus those of his his stellar freshman season (not pace adjusted):

PTS

OREB

STL+BLK

TOV

2PT%

3PT%

Soph. (4 games)

24.0

3.9

4.3

2.6

64.0%

40.0%

Freshman Season

20.1

3.4

5.3

3.8

59.9%

43.9%

Mitchell separates himself from other chancy athletic freaks with solid production in the "feel" and shooting aspects of the game. His above average assist rate for a power forward (2.00 vs 1.91 per40 pace adjusted) and his unreal finishing ability (83% around the rim-- tied with Anthony Davis for best mark for a prospect in the last three years) show some of his pure basketball skills as opposed to raw athleticism.

And here are some indices of his shooting potential from his freshman year:

NAME

3PT%

3PTA per40

% ast'd 3PTM

FT%

Tony Mitchell

43.9%

2.30

59.0%

73.9%

Average PF

33.0%

2.47

82.0%

70.0%

Mitchell is not the type of player the Bulls normally draft, so they probably won't draft him. But he is someone I would have to work out an awful lot if I were a GM. Last year had he declared he would have been a lottery pick. Was his freshman year performance just a fluke? If not, this is the type of player who could provide immense value for the 20th pick.

Side note: I was impressed that he was impressed with Thaddeus Young in his combine interview. Mitchell is a phenomenal athlete and I would have expected him to compare his game to Blake Griffin's. That kind of nonsense would have reminded me of times like when Travis Leslie said he would be a better defender than Tony Allen, or when Scotty Hopson said he would be an All-Star. That he chose a more modest comparison (still a good player) makes me think he is not full of himself. So maybe he's actually teachable and not a total headcase.

2. JACKIE CARMICHAEL (Illinois State)

Carmichael strikes me as a much older version Tony Mitchell. Like Mitchell, while he has some skills and feel for the game his main selling points are his length, strength and athleticism.

I have several questions about Carmichael. The first concerns his ability to create offense. I don't think players who are utter liabilities on one end can be very useful. There are extreme cases where that has not been true, but I would not bet on it.

NAME

AST/TOV

Per40 AST

% shots at rim

% ast'd at rim

Jackie Carmichael

.36

1.00

45%

67%

AVERAGE PF

.75

1.91

40%

48%

That 67% assisted at the rim figure is the highest for any power forward draft prospect of the last three years. By itself I would not think this the end of Carmichael as an offensive prospect. But his scouting reports indicate his primary offensive moves involve pushing his man under the basket. This will not be available to him so much in the pros-- then what?

With a much diminished ability to post up, and a face up game that still has not quite emerged even at age 23, I wish I could have more confidence that Carmichael could evolve into a three point shooter.

NAME

2PT JUMP%

FT%

3PA per40

3PT%

Jackie Carmichael

39%

68%

.40

18%

AVERAGE PF

39%

70%

2.47

33%

Unfortunately at his age I have less confidence that could happen. Less than what?... What?... I have no idea.

3. ARSALAN KAZEMI (Oregon)

Kazemi is old and cannot much score or shoot. He could be an excellent energy guy off the bench, and is possibly a better shot creator than he's given credit for. By which I mean he could be average-ish.

NAME

AST/TOV

Per40 AST

% shots at rim

% ast'd at rim

Arsalan Kazemi

.92

1.80

86%

56%

AVERAGE PF

.75

1.91

40%

48%

I think he is pretty good value for a second rounder or an undrafted signing.

4. REGINALD BUCKNER (Ole Miss)

Reginald Buckner is leaving his career as a character in a William Faulkner novel and setting his sights on the NBA. What can we expect out of the ol' sir from Ole' Miss?

Buckner is old (sorry, ole')and his offense never emerged in college. He is an interesting prospect because of his good size, strength and length, and also because of his ability to impact the game physically. Here are the top five PFs of the last three years in physical impact:

NAME

Per40 STL+BLK+OREB

Kenneth Faried

11.90

Anthony Davis

11.20

Tristan Thompson

9.20

Reginald Buckner

8.90

Tony Mitchell

8.20

AVERAGE PF

6.36

He is a question mark at best skill-wise, but he can probably hang in the NBA athletically, which means he could have defensive potential. He might be solid value for a 2nd round pick or an undrafted FA.

All stats are courtesy of draftexpress.com, sports-reference.com or hoops-math.com. All per40 stats are pace adjusted unless explicitly stated otherwise.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Blog a Bull

You must be a member of Blog a Bull to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Blog a Bull. You should read them.

Join Blog a Bull

You must be a member of Blog a Bull to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Blog a Bull. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker