Warriors Rumors: Nico Mannion sheds light on FIBA Qualifiers
Jordan Bell wasn’t the only former Golden State Warriors player to show up in the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers recently. As the big man showed off his versatile talents with USA Basketball, 20-year-old point guard Nico Mannion did his best Steph Curry impression for Italy.
On Feb. 24, the Warriors’ second-round pick and former two-way signing scored 23 points and knocked down 4 of 9 three-pointers while adding seven assists and three rebounds in a two-point road loss to the Iceland. .
Three days later, he had 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting while recording two interceptions in a revenge effort against the same team in Bologna.
Mannion and the Italians are now 2-2 in Group H of the European region. They will look to clinch their ticket to the second qualifying round in the next leg of matches in July, in which they are set to face Russia and the Netherlands.
Mannion sought playing time in Europe
Mannion’s opportunities with the Warriors were fleeting during his 2020-21 rookie campaign. However, on a 10-game streak near mid-season, he averaged 8.1 points, 3.3 assists, and 1.0 steals per game while knocking down 44.4% of his triples.
Rather than languish on an NBA bench or bounce between there and the G League this season, the former All-Pac 12 pick in Arizona opted for a payday and a better route to play in Italy with Virtus Bologna. . And he received encouragement from the Warriors to do so.
For his part, Draymond Green signed the movement.
“Go make money and go where you’re going to play,” Mannion said. Jason Dumas of KRON4 of Green’s message to him. “He said, ‘If it was me, I’d go where I’m going to get paid and I’d go where I’m going to play. He said, ‘You’re good enough to go out there and play and come back.'”
Alas, Mannion’s experience in Italy was not as expected.
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Mannion’s Rough Go in the Italian league
Mannion’s big debut with Bologna was delayed when the player suffered a serious intestinal infection. As a result of the illness, he lost almost 20 pounds and had to spend time to the hospital.
Since recovering from his illness, Mannion has struggled to find his place in his new team. In 16 games in all competitions, the 6-foot-3 guard averaged 5.3 points, 3.0 assists and 1.6 rebounds in 15.0 minutes per game. He also shoots just 37.1% from the floor and 28.1% from three.
Against Turkish club Bursaspor in the EuroCup on Thursday, he registered just two points and one assist.
Nonetheless, his performance in the World Cup qualifiers gives hope that he could go back to doing the things some believed he was. could be a draw in the 2020 draft. At least that’s a situation worth watching for Warriors fans.