The Golden State Warriors have been looking to reload their roster ever since the untimely injury, a torn right Achilles, to their star shooting guard Klay Thompson last week. Within hours of team officials getting word of the injury, they turned their attention to the 2020 NBA Draft as they had several selections in it. One of them was for former 5-star high school player and Arizona Wildcat standout Nico Mannion. The Warriors today signed Mannion, their #48 pick, to a two-way contract per The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 27, 2020
Mannion’s two-way contract will allow him to stay with the Warriors and avoid being signed by other NBA teams. With this, he’ll spend time playing with the Santa Cruz Warriors, Golden State’s G-League affiliate, and be called up to play with Golden State when needed. Given the Warriors’ current guard rotation of 2x MVP Steph Curry, former Los Angeles Laker Kent Bazemore, former Boston Celtic Brand Wanamaker, Jordan Poole, and Damion Lee it may be tough for Mannion to receive quality time right away.
Who is Nico Mannion?
Nico Mannion was born in Siena, Tuscany, Italy in 2001. His father, Pace Mannion, played professional basketball in Italy and spent time as an analyst for the Utah Jazz. Due to this, he split time between the two places before his family officially decided to move to Arizona. In eighth grade, he received his first collegiate scholarship offer from Cal State Northridge.
As he was one of the nation’s top prospects in the class of 2020 he reclassified to enter into the 2019 class. Regardless, and over the course of his high school career, Mannion ranked in the top tier of all players. As a senior, he averaged 30.4 points, 6.2 assists, and 6.2 rebounds per game while also being named Arizona Gatorade Player of the Year and National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA) Senior Athlete of the Year.
Warriors Building A Bright Future
With Mannion, the Warriors are seemingly on good footing heading into their future. Yet, his addition is one of a couple that will have Warriors fans excited about the next generation post their “Splash Brothers” days. The team selected former Memphis Tigers center James Wiseman at #2 overall during the 2020 NBA draft.
Wiseman has been a standout for some time on the high school and college basketball scene and his collegiate coach, former NBA player Penny Hardway, believes he’ll fit just perfectly with the way Golden State plays.
“He can easily keep up with the game and the pace,” Hardaway told NBC Sports Bay Area this week. “He’s very athletic, very fast. He’d instantly be one of the better rim runners in the league. He’s also a rim protector; he is going to protect the rim. His skill set is good enough now, and it’s going to get better, especially because he’d be playing with veterans like Draymond, Klay, and Steph.
“Also, he can space (his shot) out to the 3. He’s been working on his jump shot and his understanding of studying film and what a team wants and needs. In their system, with those guys, he would be spectacular.”