By Evan Sidery
After his early dominance, many NBA fans are scavenging around looking for the next Donovan Mitchell. The next late lottery slider who turns out to be an immediate contributor who increases their percentage of winning substantially.
From many different angles, Miami’s (FL) Lonnie Walker IV checks the boxes executives want out of that next late riser in the draft process. Just like how Mitchell did in the weeks leading up to hearing his name called by Utah, Walker’s stock has been boosted to possibly going inside the top 10, something I didn’t expect back in May or June.
However, the similarities between the two are actually eerily similar from a physical measurable and advanced stats point of view. As freshmen, Walker and Mitchell were nearly identical in efficiency while 2018’s score-first guard has the leg up in turning the ball over less. In his sophomore campaign, Mitchell improved his three-point shooting by over 10% to reach where Walker stood this year at 34.6%.
Where Mitchell separates himself is in terms of overall explosiveness and secondary playmaking upside. While thriving with Utah, Mitchell’s passing ability immediately stood out when he was placed into a system where everyone would be held accountable...