Nico Mannion entered his freshman season last year at the University of Arizona as one of the highest ranked players in his graduating class. He was expected to lead the Wildcats before being a lottery pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. So, when he fell to the second round in the draft, the young point guard had to be disappointed.
One thing is clear, though: The moment Mannion slipped to the second round, he was focused on being a Warrior. He even rejected a number of other teams in the second round, according to the San Francisco Chronicle's Connor Letourneau, eyeing the Warriors' selection with the No. 48 overall pick.
Destiny was had when Golden State called his name, 37 years after the Warriors picked Mannion's father, Pace, with the No. 43 pick in the 1983 draft.
Disappointment was overcome by tears of joy.
As the Warriors are set to enter training camp, the younger Mannion hopes to carve out a much longer career with Golden State than his father was able to. Pace played 57 games with the Warriors as a rookie, and was waived days before the 1984-85 season. He played six seasons in the NBA, a total of 216 games.
“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 Letourneau. “It’s not about where you’re drafted, it’s about how you fit the team that takes you.
"This could be a great situation.”
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Mannion signed a two-way contract with the Warriors. He can play up to 50 games in the NBA, and should get plenty of valuable minutes in the G League. If Mannion can improve his shot and defense, there's no doubt he could see time backing up Steph Curry as a rookie.
At this point, the name Pace Mannion might be forgotten by Warriors fans. But a determined Nico sought out Golden State, and is ready for Dub Nation to never forget the Mannion name.