Matt Mitchell and Jordan Schakel signed as undrafted free agents

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Derrick Tuskan/San Diego State

Matt Mitchell (left) and Jordan Schakel (right) celebrate after a 62-58 win over Boise State.

by Jason Freund, Sports Editor

The NBA Draft came and went on July 29. Over the course of two rounds, sixty players heard their names called by various teams.

Of those sixty players, San Diego State graduates Matt Mitchell and Jordan Schakel were two who did not hear their names called by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

However, it didn’t take long for the former Aztecs to find work. Both signed contracts to play in the upcoming NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. Mitchell will suit up for the San Antonio Spurs while Schakel is set to join the Golden State Warriors.

This is the first time since 2019 that an Aztec hasn’t been selected in the NBA draft. In 2019, Jalen McDaniels got the call from the Charlotte Hornets in the second round while Malachi Flynn was selected 29th overall by the Toronto Raptors in 2020.

Had both Mitchell and Schakel been drafted, however, it would’ve been the fifth time that multiple Aztecs were selected in the same draft. Such a feat hasn’t been accomplished since 1986, when Anthony Watson and Steffon Johnson were selected by the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Clippers, respectively. 

There is no guarantee the two will remain with their new teams. In the NBA Summer League, players make their cases to sign a two-way contract with the parent club. Such a deal would allow them to play between the NBA and the team’s G-League affiliate.

Mitchell, the Mountain West Player of the Year, will be looking to travel a similar career path to Aztec alumnus Kawhi Leonard, who got his start with the Spurs. Mitchell spent much of the summer recovering from an ankle sprain but still attended workouts with various NBA teams, including the Phoenix Suns and Philadelphia 76ers. 

Schakel is familiar with Golden State. Of the 15 individual workouts he attended prior to the draft, the Warriors were the first team on the agenda. 

The Summer League begins on Aug. 8 and concludes on Aug. 17, giving Mitchell and Schakel nine days to impress their clubs to earn a contract and cement a path to the NBA.

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