San Diego State senior Matt Mitchell has hired an agent and officially declared for the 2021 NBA draft, USA TODAY SMG’s Rookie Wire has learned.
Mitchell, a lengthy 6-foot-6 senior with a plus wingspan, won the Mountain West Conference Player of the Year behind 15.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game in 2020-21.
As a defender, he had the second-best steal percentage in the conference and he earned MWC First-Team All-Defense consideration. Mitchell was then honored as the MWC Tournament MVP and he helped his squad make an appearance in March Madness.
Mitchell, who could have returned to SDSU because the NCAA granted seniors an extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19, will be represented by Keith Kreiter of Edge Sports.
While seniors were previously automatically eligible for the NBA draft, this rule change made it so that players like Mitchell would have to petition the league to become draft-eligible in 2021. But by hiring an agent, Mitchell will forego that opportunity to instead turn pro.
When it was all said and done, Mitchell was one of the five best scorers in San Diego State State history. He connected on more than 1.0 three-pointer per game during each of the four seasons that he played at the program.
Overall, he has played well as an offensive creator, especially when dribbling off the pick during ball screen actions. The wing averaged 1.03 points per possession on dribble jumpers as a senior, per Synergy, which ranked in the 88th percentile among all D-I players.
But there are other measurements that point to a reliable shooting form as well, including his success at the charity stripe. During his junior campaign in 2019-20, when San Diego State finished with an outstanding 30-2 record, his free-throw percentage trailed only Sam Merrill and Justinian Jessup for the best in the conference. Both players were chosen in the 2020 NBA draft.
John Hollinger, previously of ESPN and then the front office for the Memphis Grizzlies, included Mitchell as one of his most undervalued prospects (via The Athletic):
“Between his age and mid-major profile, Mitchell almost certainly goes in the second round. But once there, I think he has a much better chance to stick as a role-playing wing than several other players who are currently rated much higher … especially if he can keep improving his body.”
He was a projected second-rounder in the latest mock draft from The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie. Mitchell projects as a likely candidate for draft consideration when teams are on the clock come July 29, 2021.