No strangers to second-generation talent, the Golden State Warriors added another to their legacy trio with the selection of Arizona’s Nico Mannion.
Golden State Warriors fans have been down this road before. When superstar guard Stephen Curry was selected out of Davidson in 2009, basketball fans were well aware that he was the son of former NBA sharpshooter Dell Curry. Likewise, when fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson was drafted in 2011, fans knew he was the son of NBA champion Mychal Thompson.
When Andrew Wiggins was acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves in the D’Angelo Russell trade, all fans knew was that he was a former number one overall pick and were hopeful that he could help fill the void left by the departure of two-time Finals MVP Kevin Durant. What they didn’t know is that like Curry and Thompson, Wiggins is also the son of a former NBA player. Andrew’s father, Mitchell, played six seasons in the league from 1983-1992.
Following his selection with the 48th pick in this year’s draft, Arizona guard Nico Mannion gave the Warriors a fourth second-generation NBA player on their roster. Nico’s father, Pace, was also a second round selection of the Warriors, taken with the 43rd pick in 1983. After his rookie season in Golden State, the elder Mannion played for five teams in as many seasons before finishing his career in Italy.
It remains to be seen how much time Mannion will see this season, as the competition for backcourt minutes will be intense. With Klay Thompson out for a second consecutive season, either Wiggins or the newly-acquired Kelly Oubre, Jr. could open the season starting alongside Stephen Curry. As for the reserves, second year guards Jordan Poole and Mychal Mulder should be in the mix, as well as veteran Damion Lee and free agent signee Brad Wanamaker.
While signs point to Mannion possibly spending the majority of the season in the G-League with Santa Cruz after signing a two-way contract, it should be noted that general manager Bob Myers thought enough of Mannion to part ways with promising guard Ky Bowman. Bowman, who also started last season on a two-way, showed flashes on both sides of the ball after being pressed into action amidst the team’s injury issues.
With no summer league to prep him for NBA competition, hopefully, Mannion can get enough work in Santa Cruz to either replicate or exceed Bowman’s production when given the opportunity with the big league club.