Nico Mannion was one of the nation’s top high school prospects in the 2019 class, and even got the chance to meet Warriors star Steph Curry during an appearance at an Under Armour basketball camp.
So when Mannion was selected No. 48 overall by the Warriors in Wednesday night’s NBA draft, his first thought was about getting to team up with Curry in the league.
“I get to learn from Steph,” Mannion told reporters after being introduced alongside Warriors No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman at Chase Center. “He’s been in the league for a while like you said, multi-time MVP, I actually got to meet him already, I played at Steph’s camp. So I got to meet him there and get to know him a little bit, and I’m just excited man, I think the biggest thing for me is I get someone I can really learn from, he’s a vet and one of the best players to ever play.
“So I’m just going to be like a sponge and try to soak up as much information from him as I can.”
Mannion might be in line for playing time than he might have expected, as the Warriors got confirmation that Klay Thompson suffered a torn Achilles during a workout in Southern California, devastating news for a franchise eyeing a return to championship contention in 2020-21.
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The Arizona product didn’t quite live up to the billing of being a top-10 recruit during his lone collegiate season, but Mannion averaged 14 points a game and has an advanced offensive arsenal for someone his age.
The Warriors also reportedly are in “serious talks” on a trade for Oklahoma City Thunder swingman Kelly Oubre, which could help fill at least part of the significant void in production left with Thompson’s absence.
Jordan Poole, Damion Lee, and Juan Toscano-Anderson all also could be in line for additional minutes at the wing without Klay, as well as No. 51 overall pick and 6-foot-7 guard Justinian Jessup, who spent a season playing in Australia’s NBL after a successful college career at Boise State.
Similar to last season, Curry likely will have plenty of lessons to hand out to all the Warriors’ young guards.
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