Warriors

Warriors' Mannion soaking up knowledge in first training camp

Warriors

Nico Mannion entered the Warriors' first day of team practices Monday with a simple goal.

"I want everything I do to be good," Mannion said in a video conference call with reporters. "I don't want to come in here and look like a rookie."

Golden State selected Mannion in the second round (No. 48 overall) of last month's NBA draft, giving the 19-year-old fewer than three weeks between his name being called on draft night and sharing the court with his new teammates for the first time. He'll have just over a month between the draft and the regular-season opener on Dec. 22.

That's not a lot of time for anyone to adjust to a new team, much less a teenager making the transition from college to the professional ranks. In order to seem like a veteran, Mannion is relying on his experienced teammates for insight.

"All the vets are helping out the younger guys," Mannion said. "Letting them know how to do things right, what they want, what coach [Steve Kerr] wants. It's been a really good environment."

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Mannion said the Warriors hit the ground running in their first day, going over sets at "full speed" that the coaching staff began installing in individual workouts. The rookie asked whichever veteran was closest if he had a query, asking questions of Damion Lee, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Steph Curry, Mannion's one-time camp counselor.

 

The Warriors' veteran core looks much different than it did during Golden State's run of five straight NBA Finals appearances from 2015 through '19, but the roster is an experienced one following general manager and president of basketball operations Bob Myers. Six players in camp (Curry, Kent Bazemore, Draymond Green, Oubre and Andrew Wiggins) have at least five years under their belt, while Brad Wanamaker has nearly a decade of pro experience between the NBA and Europe.

That means Mannion has plenty of teammates to learn from.

"I know these guys have been in the league for a while," Mannion said. "Some of 'em have played on a bunch of different teams, so they've been through the league and they know what to look for. I'm just trying to soak up as much as I can this first little bit."

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Mannion signed a two-way contract with the Warriors late last month, meaning he can play as many 50 NBA games this season. He can spend as much time with the team between those games, unlike previous years, allowing him ample opportunity to learn.

The rookie said he's already seeing encouraging returns, though.

"For it to be Day 1, and us already being able to move the ball, make plays and kind of feel each other out ... I think it's a really good sign," Mannion said. "I like to play fast, quick decision-making and I think that's what I'm best at and that's kind of what the Warriors do. I think this is a great fit for me."