NBA

The Golden State Warriors May Have Found a Gem in the Second Round of the 2020 NBA Draft

Going into the 2020 NBA draft, the Golden State Warriors had three draft picks. The Warriors only had one pick in the first round, and they selected James Wiseman with the second overall pick. In the second round, the Warriors had two picks, and with the 48th pick, they selected Nico Mannion.

Mannion had an impressive freshman season at Arizona, and he has the potential to make an impact for the Warriors. 

Nico Mannion was a top recruit in high school

RELATED: Steph Curry Knows Exactly What the Golden State Warriors Need to Target in the 2020 NBA Draft

During his high school career, Nico Mannion was a standout player on the basketball court. He attended Pinnacle High School in Arizona, and he was widely known throughout the state. As a freshman, Mannion was a starter on the varsity team, and he averaged 20.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 2.4 steals. After putting together an impressive freshman season, he was named MaxPreps first-team All-American and Arizona Republic Class 6A first-team All-State.

It didn’t take Mannion long to become one of the country’s top high school players. He led his high school to a state championship his sophomore year, and he was named Arizona’s Gatorade Player of the Year. After his sophomore year, Mannion reclassified to the 2019 class so he could graduate a year early. His final year of his school was one to remember.

During the 2018-19 season, Mannion had multiple performances where he scored 30 or more points against top teams, and he even had a game where he scored 57 points. In February of 2019, he led Pinnacle to a second consecutive state championship. He finished the season averaging 30.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 6.2 assists. For the second consecutive year, he was named Arizona Gatorade Player of the Year. According to ESPN, Mannion was the No. 8 ranked prospect in the class of 2019.

Nico Mannion was one of Arizona’s top players his freshman year

Going into his freshman year, Mannion received numerous honors. He was a preseason first-team All-Pac-12 Conference honoree and was named to the preseason watch lists for the Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy. In his freshman year, Mannion displayed his ability to score and find open teammates. He put together an impressive performance in the Wooden Legacy Tournament averaging 16.3 points and 7.3 assists during the tournament. Mannion was named the tournament’s MVP after he led Arizona to the title. 

He finished his freshman season averaging 14.0 points and 5.3 assists and was named to the All-Pac-12 second team and the All-Freshman Team. Mannion finished with 169 assists, the second-most by a freshman in the country during the season and third-most by a freshman at Arizona. 

The Warriors could benefit from having a player like Mannion

Mannion signed a two-way contract with the Warriors during the offseason. He can play up to 50 games in the NBA, and he’ll most likely see a lot of time in the G League. In an article from NBC Sports, Mannion talked about the opportunity to play for the Warriors. “I’ve only been out here a few days, but I already know I want to be a part of this team as long as possible,” Mannion said to San Francisco Chronicle’s Connor Letourneau. “It’s not about where you’re drafted, it’s about how you fit the team that takes you.

Despite being selected in the second round, Mannion was filled with excitement when the Warriors selected him. The Warriors have made some notable picks in the second round in recent history. Most notable is All-Star forward and three-time NBA champion Draymond Green. The Warriors selected Eric Paschall in the second round of the 2019 NBA draft, and he was named to the 2019-20 All-Rookie First Team.

So the Warriors know how to find players in the second round, and there was a reason why they selected Mannion.