Davion Mintz took a different approach during his second go-around with the NBA Draft process.
Following his 2018-19 junior season at Creighton, Mintz elected to put his name into the NBA Draft but left open the possibility of a return. During that process, he was doing everything he could to reach his goal of playing in the world’s top professional league. However, he ultimately didn’t receive the feedback he wanted and decided to come back to Creighton where he would eventually transfer to Kentucky for the 2020-21 season.
Before deciding if he wanted to tackle a sixth college season and a second with the Wildcats heading into 2021-22, Mintz tried his hand in the NBA Draft process again, but with a different approach: He was more methodical with the way he went about it. It wasn’t about earning a draft-night guarantee, but rather making a potentially life-changing decision.
“The first time I did it, it was more of me putting my foot forward of let me shoot for my goal,” Mintz told the media on Thursday morning. “This time I knew I was there and it was more personal with me and my team trying to figure out okay do you want to go back to college or do you want to take the professional route? It was more of a bigger thought process this time. Using that time and especially having a longer offseason that we had, it gave me an opportunity to reflect more before choosing to sign with representation.”
Mintz, who will return to Kentucky as last season’s leading scorer at 11.5 points per outing, didn’t partake in any public workouts through NBA teams this summer, either. Instead, he worked in quiet, showcasing his skillsets to NBA personnel in private settings, one of those workouts being in front of his hometown Charlotte Hornets.
Mintz also interviewed with–among a few teams–the San Antonio Spurs, where former Wildcats Keldon Johnson and Trey Lyles currently play.
“I didn’t have any workouts other than private workouts with some of the players back home with the Hornets and some of their personnel,” Mintz said. “I didn’t go through any workouts this year, which wasn’t really surprising on my end because I elected not to sign with an agent or go through that part of the process. I’ve been through the process my junior year in college so I took a different approach this time. I had an interview–one off the top of my head–was with the Spurs. I got some pretty good feedback. Just talking about their liking of my game but a lot of it was more personal, getting to know me. For me personally, it was the kinda thing I wanted to hear where the decision was mine, what route I wanted to take.”
Mintz’s decision to come back to Kentucky was never a set-in-stone deal, but he did add that he had little intentions of playing overseas. He decided to go through a light NBA process knowing that he could return to UK with open arms waiting for him. It was more about finding out who he is as a player rather than setting a goal of being drafted in the first round.
“I didn’t use the process to its full extent,” Mintz said on KSR during Thursday’s Sources Say Podcast takeover. “I took a unique approach this year where I didn’t sign with an agent. Used this time to do some personal reflection and get feedback from inside sources and take that approach. I had a lot of private workouts with NBA personnel but I didn’t do an official workout with any teams. I conducted interviews and took that approach but for me, I took a lot of time with my group to see okay this is where you are and left the decision to me. I knew I was ready for the opportunity but I took a different approach this time.”
Had he elected to keep his name in the NBA Draft, which is scheduled for July 29, it’s not all that likely Mintz would have heard his name called in the two-round event. Knowing that, especially after hearing feedback from different NBA teams, he determined that another year in Lexington is what will work best for him in the long term.
Kentucky sure is glad to have him back.