There were a whole lot of questions about Tony Mitchell heading into the NBA summer pro league season:
None were bigger than if Mitchell would have the right attitude and play with 100 percent effort.
I never really had much of a doubt. He played lights out in his short time at UNT as a freshman. One can argue he checked out a bit in a disaster of a season last year, a time in which he admitted he coasted, but he has a lot to play for now.
The reviews coming in on Mitchell since the end of the Orlando pro league have been nothing but positive.
The latest example came in a story in USA Today about the value of players selected later in the draft who come cheap, relatively speaking. Many of them are on display in the summer pro leagues.
Jeff Zillgitt cited Mitchell as an example of a guy who could end up being a steal for the Pistons and quoted Pistons assistant coach Maz Trakh, who coached Detroit’s summer league team and had positive things to say:
“He has that reputation of being a great athlete,” Trakh said of Mitchell. “To go along with that, he is non-stop offensively and defensively. He’s clay, and we’re trying to mold him. It’s a lot easier to mold a guy when he has those attributes, and it’s easier when the player wants to be molded. He’s a 100% in.”
Mitchell was an honorable mention all-league selection in the Orlando pro league.
There were people projecting Mitchell to coast and fall right into the D League after he left UNT.
More and more, it’s sounding like Mitchell really made an impression this summer and is going to prove those people wrong.