Nico Mannion

And-Ones: Njie, Young, Mannion, Mudiay

Swedish player Barra Njie is signing a contract in the NBA G League and entering the October 23 draft, agent Jerry Dianis told Hoops Rumors.

Njie rejected multiple offers from the EuroLeague and Liga ACB, Dianis said. The 6’3″ point guard was named Rookie of the Year in the Swedish Basketball League last season, averaging 17.8 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game.

Njie, 20, will be NBA draft-eligible for 2022 and attended St. Benedict’s Preparatory school before signing overseas.

Here are some other odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Speaking of the G League Draft, former NBA guard Joe Young will also sign a contract and enter the event, according to Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files (Twitter link). Young played 127 games with the Pacers from 2015-18, most recently spending time in China.
  • Former Warriors guard Nico Mannion dealt with an intestinal infection caused by salmonella this summer, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando tweets. Mannion estimates that he lost over 40 pounds due to the infection, and photos eventually surfaced online of his poor condition. He made his debut with Italian club Virtus Bologna on Saturday.
  • Emmanuel Mudiay recently discussed a variety of subjects with Antonis Stroggylakis of EuroHoops, including his recent impressive performance overseas and why he chose to spend the last year away from basketball. “I just wanted to take some time off and spend time with my family,” said Mudiay, a five-year NBA veteran who signed with Zalgiris Kaunas (Lithuania) in August. “I just stayed at home to be with my family.”

Warriors RFA Nico Mannion Signs With Italian Team

2:30pm: Mannion’s deal with Virtus Bologna covers two seasons, but has an NBA out clause after year one, tweets Carchia.


11:52pm: Warriors point guard Nico Mannion has agreed to a deal with Virtus Bologna in Italy, tweets Jordan Schultz of ESPN. The agreement was confirmed by Mannion’s agent, Bill Duffy. The team also sent out a press release announcing the deal.

Mannion, who was born in Tuscany, signed a two-way contract with the Warriors last November after being selected with the 48th pick in the 2020 draft. He saw limited playing time as a rookie, appearing in 30 games and averaging 4.5 points, 1.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per night.

The 20-year-old was a restricted free agent after receiving a qualifying offer from Golden State last month. If Mannion ever returns to the NBA, the Warriors will keep his RFA rights, which allow them to match any offer. Mannion’s QO was the equivalent of another two-way deal and would remain the same if he comes back to the NBA. However, Golden State – and other teams – would be permitted to offer him a more lucrative standard contract.

The Italian team’s interest in Mannion was first reported by Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. According to Carchia, the initial target for Virtus Bologna was Chris Chiozza, who will sign a two-way contract with the Warriors.

Nico Mannion, Saben Lee, Others Receive Qualifying Offers

The Warriors have issued a qualifying offer to two-way player Nico Mannion, making him a restricted free agent, tweets Keith Smith of Spotrac. Because Mannion, the 48th overall pick in the 2020 draft, was on a two-way contract during his rookie season, his qualifying offer will be the equivalent of another two-way deal, with a partial guarantee worth $50K. The QO will give Golden State matching rights in the event that another team signs Mannion to an offer sheet next week.

Here are more updates on players on two-way contracts receiving qualifying offers:

  • Saben Lee, a 2020 second-round pick who spent his rookie season on a two-way deal, has received a qualifying offer from the Pistons, making him a restricted free agent, tweets Smith. As expected, Detroit also officially renounced the draft rights to Jaylen Hands, Smith notes.
  • The Bulls issued a qualifying offer to two-way player Devon Dotson, making him a restricted free agent, tweets Smith. Chicago also gave a QO to Lauri Markkanen on Friday.
  • Nuggets guard Markus Howard, another two-way player, received a qualifying offer that makes him a restricted free agent, tweets Smith. Howard appeared in 37 games for Denver last season as an undrafted rookie out of Marquette.
  • The Spurs extended a qualifying offer to forward Keita Bates-Diop to make him an RFA, tweets Smith. Like the other players listed above, Bates-Diop has fewer than four years of NBA experience and is therefore eligible to sign another two-way contract after spending the 2020/21 season on a two-way deal.
  • The Cavaliers gave a qualifying offer to two-way shooting guard Brodric Thomas, tweets Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com (Twitter link). Thomas appeared in a total of 32 games for Houston and Cleveland as a rookie in 2020/21.
  • The Grizzlies announced they’ve issued a qualifying offer to big man Killian Tillie, making him a restricted free agent. Tillie appeared in 18 games for Memphis as a rookie on his two-way deal.

Since all of these players are coming off two-way contracts and have only spent one season with their respective teams, their QOs are one-year, two-way offers with $50K guarantees.

Rosters Announced For Olympic Qualifying Tournaments

Four qualifying tournaments to determine the final four teams in the men’s basketball pool at the Tokyo Olympics are set to tip off on Tuesday. In advance of the Olympic qualifiers, the 24 teams involved have officially set their 12-man rosters, according to a press release from FIBA.

More than two dozen current NBA players are participating in the tournament, and 11 of the 24 teams competing for Olympic spots have at least one current NBA players on their respective rosters. Of those clubs, Team Canada has the biggest contingent of NBA players — eight of the 12 players on Nick Nurse‘s squad finished the season on an NBA roster. Turkey is next with four NBA players.

The four qualifying tournaments will take place in Serbia, Lithuania, Croatia, and Canada. Only the winner of each six-team group will advance to Tokyo. Those four winners will join Japan, Nigeria, Argentina, Iran, France, Spain, Australia, and the U.S. in the 12-team Olympic tournament.

The teams that move onto the Olympics may tweak their rosters for Tokyo, depending on the availability of certain players. For instance, if Greece were to win its qualifying tournament, perhaps Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo – who remains active in the playoffs for now – would make an effort to join the team in Tokyo next month.

Here are the NBA players on the OQT rosters:

Belgrade, Serbia

Kaunas, Lithuania

Split, Croatia

Victoria, Canada

There are also many former NBA players among the 24 rosters, including Mario Hezonja (Croatia), Milos Teodosic (Serbia), Jan Vesely (Czech Republic), Timofey Mozgov (Russia), and Anthony Bennett (Canada).

To view the full rosters, be sure to visit FIBA’s official site and click through to each team from there.

And-Ones: Nets Security, Zipser, Mannion, Mozgov, TBT

A Nets security official who made contact with Bucks forward P.J. Tucker during a Game 3 skirmish has been barred by the NBA from working any more games in Milwaukee for the rest of the series, according to Joe Vardon, Eric Nehm and Alex Schiffer of The Athletic. The official, Antjuan Lambert, also won’t be allowed at courtside during the games in Brooklyn.

Lambert is employed by the team, but he has also been working for Kevin Durant since the star forward signed with Brooklyn in 2019. When Durant had an altercation with Tucker in the third quarter of Game 3, Lambert intervened and bumped into Tucker.

“In the heat of the moment you know people are coming to de-escalate things and try to get things under control and not bump and escalate and have things become a problem than what we’re trying to address or de-escalate,” Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer said. “And, in the 24-48 hours since, if it’s a Nets security guy and he’s bumping our player and things like that, that doesn’t seem like that’s the protocol and what we’d expect from any type of security.”

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Former Bulls forward Paul Zipser had to undergo emergency surgery for a brain hemorrhage this week, writes Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Zipser is now playing for FC Bayern in Germany.
  • Warriors guard Nico Mannion will be part of the Italian team for the upcoming Olympic qualifying tournament in Belgrade, notes Ennio Terrasi Borghesan of Sportando. Duke prospect Paolo Banchero, who received an Italian passport several months ago, hasn’t made a final decision on whether he’ll join Mannion.
  • Former NBA center Timofey Mozgov is expected to represent Russia in its upcoming Olympic qualifying tournament, Borghesan adds in a separate piece. Injuries limited Mozgov to six games this season for his Khimki team, but he recently returned to action.
  • Veteran NBA big man Amir Johnson will participate in The Basketball Tournament this summer, tweets J.D. Shaw of Hoops Rumors. Also playing will be Bruno Caboclo, who appeared in six games for the Rockets this season (Twitter link).

Warriors Notes: Curry, Open Roster Spots, Oubre

Although the Warriors won their first game following Stephen Curry‘s tailbone contusion last week, the team has slumped since then without its leading scorer, losing its last four straight.

With Golden State still clinging to the 10th seed in the Western Conference at 22-24, the team got some good news on Sunday, as head coach Steve Kerr said that Curry practiced in full and “looked good,” per Marcus White of NBC Sports Bay Area.

Curry hasn’t been cleared to return yet, but he has been upgraded to questionable for Monday’s game vs. Chicago, so he could be back on the court as soon as tonight. If not, he seems like a good bet to be ready for Thursday’s contest in Miami. Kerr indicated on Sunday that he’s looking forward not just to having Curry back but to having a healthier roster in general.

“When Steph is on the floor, we just have confidence and swagger that’s missing when he’s not,” Kerr said. “And that helps our defense. If you go back over the last eight or nine games, we’ve had a lot of stuff. Whether it’s injuries, (COVID-19) protocol … (these) are all reasons – not excuses, they’re just reasons – that we’ve struggled. But nobody really cares. It’s just what it is. Every team’s dealing with all kinds of adversity this year.”

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • After trading away Brad Wanamaker and Marquese Chriss at last week’s deadline, the Warriors have two openings on their 15-man roster. President of basketball operations Bob Myers said the team is considering a number of options for those spots, including signing a player on the buyout market, promoting two-way players Juan Toscano-Anderson and/or Nico Mannion, or even bringing over draft-and-stash prospect Justinian Jessup from Australia. Decisions are expected soon (Twitter links via Kendra Andrews of NBC Sports Bay Area).
  • Following the trade deadline, Myers acknowledged that the Timberwolves’ top-three protected 2021 first-round pick – held by the Warriors – drew plenty of interest. You gotta be open to anything, but it would take a lot to part with that,” Myers said of the pick (Twitter link via Anthony Slater of The Athletic). “You never say never.” If it lands in the top three this year, the Warriors will receive the Wolves’ unprotected first-rounder in 2022.
  • Myers didn’t have a problem with Kelly Oubre‘s comments suggesting he wouldn’t want to come off the bench if he’s back with the Warriors next season.I like what he said,” Myers said (Twitter link via Slater). “He should want to start.”

Pacific Notes: Gasol, Leonard, Poole, Mannion, Lin

Lakers center Marc Gasol was inactive on Tuesday after being placed under the league’s health and safety protocols, Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register tweets. Gasol had started all 35 games this season prior to Tuesday, posting modest stats of 4.8 PPG and 4.1 RPG. Gasol was signed to a two-year, $5.25MM contract in November.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Clippers All-Star Kawhi Leonard was a late scratch in the team’s loss to Boston on Tuesday due to back spasms, Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN relays. Leonard, who felt discomfort during warmups, has missed eight games this season for a variety of reasons.
  • The Warriors have brought back guards Jordan Poole and Nico Mannion from the G League bubble for depth in their last two games prior to the All-Star break, according to a team press release. Poole averaged 22.4 PPG in 11 games for affiliate Santa Cruz and has also appeared in 15 NBA games this season. Mannion, a two-way player, averaged 19.3 PPG for Santa Cruz in nine appearances.
  • Poole’s presence is one reason why the Warriors aren’t interested in signing Jeremy Lin as a backup point guard at this time, according to Kendra Andrews of NBC Sports Bay Area. Lin has performed well with Santa Cruz but Golden State would have to make room for him on its roster. The Warriors’ preference is for Brad Wanamaker to regain the form he showed with Boston last season or for Poole to take over that role before adding Lin to the mix.

California Notes: Looney, Wiseman, Lakers, Santa Cruz Warriors

Warriors center Kevon Looney, sidelined since spraining his left ankle in a February 2 loss to the Celtics, has rejoined the Warriors for “segments of practice” and is planning on suiting up with the club during Golden State’s impending road trip, per Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated (Twitter link).

Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle details the import of the big man’s return to the lineup in a new piece. “I always joked that I never hurt my ankle,” Looney said after incurring the injury. “I guess karma caught up with me.”

There’s more out of California:

  • Warriors rookie center James Wiseman, out with a left wrist injury suffered on January 30,  rejoined Golden State for practice on Tuesday, according to Kendra Andrews of NBC Sports Bay Area. The No. 2 overall draft pick out of Memphis, Wiseman has a chance to return to the court for the Warriors as soon as Friday against a depleted Magic team. “With a sprained wrist you don’t know if it will be one week, two weeks or three, so I’m just following each procedure, but there are no setbacks,” Wiseman said.
  • The Lakers are seeing their frontcourt depth tested with the extended absence of All-Star power forward/center Anthony Davis, according to Bill Oram of The Athletic. Kyle Kuzma has taken over starting duties, and reigning Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell is seeing expanded minutes as a super-sub. Starting center Marc Gasol and reserve power forward Markieff Morris have also seen more run in the rotation.
  • Warriors.com spoke to Santa Cruz Warriors broadcaster Kevin Dana about how Golden State’s G League affiliate team is adjusting to life in the 2021 NBAGL Orlando “bubble.” Dana lauded the output thus far of young prospects Nico Mannion and Jordan Poole.

Warriors Notes: Starting Five, Wolves’ Pick, Mannion

The Warriors suffered their second consecutive loss on Saturday in Utah, dropping to .500 (8-8) on the season. In the wake of that blowout, head coach Steve Kerr left the door open to the possibility of making changes to his struggling starting lineup, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

“It’s going to take us 20 games to figure out where we really want to be with our rotation,” Kerr said. “We’re at 16 now, and I think getting a pretty good look at everything. We just had two bad losses in a row, so we have to assess everything. No doubt.”

Kerr has suggested that Golden State’s starting five – Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins, Kelly Oubre, and James Wiseman – has the highest upside of any of the team’s lineups, but the results haven’t been there so far. That unit has played 161 minutes together, while no other five-man group has played more than 37. In those 161 minutes, the Warriors’ net rating is -20.3.

The team will have a good opportunity to turn things around this week, with home games against the 4-11 Timberwolves on tap for Monday and Wednesday.

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • Nearly one year after the Warriors and Timberwolves made a blockbuster trade involving D’Angelo Russell and Wiggins, Anthony Slater of The Athletic explains why he thinks Golden State has gotten the better end of that deal. As Slater outlines, neither Russell nor Wiggins has been a major difference-maker, but the Warriors were able to avoid the tax last season by dumping salary in that trade and are still owed a Wolves first-round pick that will likely land in the lottery.
  • Within the same story, Slater says that – while the 2021 Timberwolves first-rounder owed to Golden State is top-three protected – the Warriors shouldn’t worry about Minnesota finishing with a bottom-three record. Even in that scenario, there’s still about a 60% chance that the Wolves’ pick will land in the No. 4-7 range and will change hands.
  • The Warriors have discussed the possibility of sending rookie guard Nico Mannion, who is on a two-way contract, to the G League bubble at Walt Disney World next month, tweets Slater. I haven’t played a full game since March 12,” Mannion said. “Going down there, getting into a flow, would be good for me.” The Santa Cruz Warriors are one of 18 teams participating in the revamped NBAGL season.

Warriors Notes: Mannion, Curry, Thompson, Wiseman

Second-round pick Nico Mannion isn’t discouraged by the slow start to his NBA career, writes Alex Espinoza of NBC Sports Bay Area. After the Warriors took him with the 48th selection, Mannion signed a two-way contract that allows him to appear in 50 NBA games this season. He hasn’t played yet or even suited up to be on the active roster, but Mannion believes his time is coming.

“I can see myself out there on the floor,” he said. “I think I fit that style, just the quick decision-making.”

Mannion will have to earn playing time on a team that currently has five guards getting regular rotation minutes. He said he’s been making improvements in practice and is determined to be prepared when his opportunity arrives.

“They just told me to be ready,” Mannion said of the coaching staff. “If someone goes down, I’ll be there. Just trying to adjust and learn as much as I can right now. Trying to see it as a glass half full right now that I get some more time to prepare. That’s kind of how I’m looking at it.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Stephen Curry is adjusting to defenses focused primarily on stopping him now that he’s not surrounded by All-Star teammates, observes Ethan Strauss of The Athletic. Teams are using variations of the box-and-one strategy that Toronto’s Nick Nurse employed during the 2019 NBA Finals. Part of the reason those defenses have been effective is that Kelly Oubre is shooting just 4.0% (1-for-25) from three-point range.
  • The Warriors are encouraging injured guard Klay Thompson to spend as much time as possible with the team, according to Connor Letourneau of The San Francisco Chronicle. Thompson is in the early part of rehab after having surgery last month for his torn right Achilles tendon. “It’s important for all of us, as well as Klay himself, that he’s around this season,” coach Steve Kerr said. “Because of last year’s absence and the pandemic, and just the whole bizarre year and a half it’s been for him and our franchise, I would love to have him up here as much as possible … I want our young players to feel his presence, and I want Klay here working with our training staff and getting on the court with our team as soon as he can. I think that will be important.”
  • James Wiseman is an easy choice as the league’s best rookie so far, writes Josh Schrock of NBC Sports Bay Area. The No. 2 pick is averaging 11.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in his first five NBA games.