Warriors news: Nico Mannion to play in Italy this year



You’re not going to watch Nico Mannion play basketball this year, unless you’re a fan of international hoops. The Golden State Warriors playmaker, 20, who was the 48th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, signs a deal with Virtus Bologna in Italian Serie A, Italy’s top professional basketball league.

Because the Warriors have extended the qualifying offer to Mannion, they will retain his rights. Anytime he decides to return to the NBA, he will be a restricted free agent and the Warriors can match any contract that has been extended to him.

It comes a day after the Warriors signed a two-part deal with 25-year-old playmaker Chris Chiozza, and it is now becoming very clear why that decision was made.

This is sort of the best scenario for the Warriors and Mannion.

From Golden State’s perspective, they don’t have to try to find room on the roster for another project, with James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody already occupying spots. They are fans of Mannion’s potential – he was screened by many as a lottery pick for the 2019-2020 college season – and Steve Kerr loves him very much. But he’s not yet ready to contribute to a contending team, so now the Dubs have to wait and see if he can become a quality player before they burn him a spot in the roster.

And for Mannion – who is Italian-American – he’ll have the chance to develop with starting minutes in a quality league, rather than sitting at the end of an NBA bench or bouncing between San Francisco and Santa Cruz.



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