Kings get defensive help with Baylor’s Davion Mitchell

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Sacramento Kings selected Baylor two-way guard Davion Mitchell with the ninth overall pick in the NBA draft.

Mitchell averaged 14.0 points, 5.5 assists and 2.7 rebounds while helping the Bears to their first national championship in more than 50 years last season. The 22-year-old was the Naismith defensive player of the year, averaging 1.9 steals during his final season at Baylor. His defense earned Mitchell the nickname “Off Night” because of his opponents’ tendency to have a poor shooting game against him.

The Kings continued to focus on defense in the second round, selecting Utah State 7-footer Neemias Queta, who holds the school record for career blocked shots. The 22-year-old from Portugal averaged 14.9 points and 10.1 rebounds last season with the Aggies.

Mitchell should provide an immediate impact in Sacramento, where the Kings were one of the NBA’s worst defensive teams last season. At 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, Mitchell possesses an aggressive and physical attitude the Kings have been missing for years.

Coach Luke Walton’s team was 28th in points allowed and 30th in defensive shooting percentage. Improving the overall defense was paramount to general manager Monte McNair’s offseason plans as he tries to help the Kings end their NBA record-tying 15-year playoff drought.

Mitchell adds depth to a backcourt that has point guard De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton. Haliburton was the 12th overall pick in 2020.

Sacramento also has the 39th overall pick.

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