Potential Lottery Pick Nico Mannion Declares For Draft

Arizona freshman point guard Nico Mannion is entering the 2020 NBA draft class, as he tells Jonathan Givony of ESPN. Wildcats head coach Sean Miller said last month that Mannion would enter the draft, but his father clarified at the time that a decision hadn’t yet been finalized — now it has.

Mannion, who started 32 games for Arizona as a freshman, averaged 14.0 PPG, 5.3 APG, and 1.2 SPG with a .392/.327/.797 shooting line. He ranks 14th overall on ESPN’s big board, with Mike Schmitz praising his scoring, play-making, demeanor, and ability to make reads. Schmitz does note that the 19-year-old’s “lack of tools” may limit his defensive upside and that his shot needs to get more consistent.

Mannion tells ESPN that, despite the COVID-19 lockdown, he has access to a gym where he can train and shoot as he prepares for the draft.

“I’m just getting reps every day trying to perfect what I can perfect on and off the court, be it passing, ball-handling or ball-screen drills, and trying to get stronger,” Mannion said. “I’m working on extending my range. This time off gives us me an opportunity to get better. That’s where I have a little bit of an advantage. I’m watching a lot of film on Steve Nash and Chris Paul. How they use ball screens to get in the lane and finish with floaters.”

View Comments (3)