Nico Mannion

Warriors Sign James Wiseman To Rookie Contract

The Warriors have officially signed No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman to his first NBA contract, the team announced today in a press release.

While that No. 2 pick was the subject of trade rumors for months, the Warriors ultimately hung onto it and selected the top center in this year’s draft class. He’ll receive a $8.73MM salary in his rookie season and will have a four-year contract worth nearly $40MM in total, assuming he receives the maximum allowable 120% of the rookie scale.

Scouts and college basketball fans only got a brief look at Wiseman during his three-game career at Memphis. After being embroiled in an eligibility battle with the NCAA, the 7’1″ big man left school in December to focus on preparing for the NBA. He was dominant in his brief time with the Tigers, averaging 19.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game.

The Warriors also confirmed in today’s announcement that they’ve signed second-round pick Nico Mannion to a two-way deal, as was expected.

Warriors To Sign Nico Mannion To Two-Way Deal

Second-round pick Nico Mannion will be signing a two-way contract with the Warriors, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Mannion, who started 32 games for Arizona as a freshman last season, averaged 14.0 PPG, 5.3 APG, and 1.2 SPG with a .392/.327/.797 shooting line before declaring for the 2020 draft.

He was widely viewed as a potential first-round pick, but slipped down to No. 48, where the Warriors nabbed him. Executives around the NBA were surprised to see Mannion fall so far, according to a report last week.

Undrafted wing Dwayne Sutton is said to be the favorite to earn Golden State’s other two-way contract. The Warriors’ other second-round selection, No. 51 pick Justinian Jessup, is expected to spend season in Australia, where he’s already a member of the Illawara Hawks.

Warriors Notes: Curry, Thompson, M. Gasol, Smailagić

Warriors guard Stephen Curry was devastated after learning that his backcourt partner, Klay Thompson, will miss another full season after suffering a torn Achilles last week, writes Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. Golden State had hoped to return to title contention after an injury-plagued year, but the loss of Thompson is a major setback.

“To get that call was a gut punch for sure. A lot of tears,” Curry said. “You don’t really know what to say because a guy like that is having to go through two pretty serious rehabs now. But at the end of the day, we have to have his back. We hope that he is around and a part of what we do through his rehab and staying connected with us. He can come back strong. He’s a guy that loves the game so much. He is going to do whatever it takes to get back out there on the floor and be himself. That’s what we hope and the confidence that we have. Two-and-a-half years of rehab is tough for anybody. We’re hoping for the best.”

Curry was limited to just five games last season after breaking his left hand in October. He will return to a roster that’s much different than the one that dominated the league for five years, with additions such as Kelly Oubre, who was acquired in a trade, and James Wiseman, the No. 2 pick in last week’s draft.

“Not seeing (Thompson) on the court, at first, is going to be weird,” Curry said. “But I think we’ve done a really good job in the offseason with James and our draft picks and in the free agency pool to put together a really solid roster. We’re going to have to learn a lot really quickly, and we will need a full commitment from everybody.”

There’s more Warriors news this morning:

  • Thompson’s injury may have cost Golden State a chance to sign free agent center Marc Gasol, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic. At age 35, Gasol was looking to join a contender and ended up with the defending champion Lakers. The Warriors are still in the market for veteran help and expect to receive a $9.3MM disabled player exception in the wake of Thompson’s injury.
  • Management doesn’t believe Alen Smailagić is ready for regular playing time, but he’s likely to be kept on the roster with a $1.5MM guaranteed contract, Slater adds in the same piece. However, Smailagić could be waived later in the season if there’s an opportunity to sign someone. Second-round pick Nico Mannion is expected to be a two-way player and will see a lot of time in the G League, if there is a G League season.
  • Oubre, who will be a free agent next summer, is hoping for a long-term stay with Golden State, tweets Nick Friedell of ESPN.
  • In case you missed it, the team’s deal with free agent guard Brad Wanamaker is now official. It was completed using a portion of Golden State’s taxpayer mid-level exception.

Warriors Notes: Wiseman, Mannion, Anderson, Jessup

Warriors general manager Bob Myers said he already had approval from management to use the team’s $17MM trade exception before Klay Thompson‘s injury yesterday, tweets Marc J. Speers of The Undefeated. Myers was hoping to add wing depth even before the news about Thompson broke. Thompson will have an MRI today to determine the severity of his Achilles injury.

Myers told reporters that Thompson’s injury didn’t affect the team’s plan to draft former Memphis center James Wiseman with the No. 2 pick, according to a story on Warriors.com.

“We had him No. 1 on our board when all the dust settled,” Myers said of Wiseman. “Certainly the Klay thing made you think for a second, but it was just a short amount of time and we decided we’re staying the course of what we always felt, but you have to take pause and think about things for a second. … We got the guy we wanted and excited like I said to get going and get him in our practice facility and get to work.”

There’s more Warriors news this morning:

  • In the same story, Myers admits being surprised that Arizona guard Nico Mannion was still available with the No. 48 pick. Executives around the league were shocked to see Mannion fall so far, adds Jonathan Givony of  Draft Express (Twitter link). “(Stephen Curry) said we had to draft guys that went to his Under Armour camp, so we had to take Wiseman and Nico to keep our point guard happy,” Myers joked. “It is funny, though. Those guys both did go. He remembers them. I think it might have been in Walnut Creek. But I think he knows, it’s funny, he got to know James and got to know Nico, I don’t know if it was last year or the year before, but I was surprised. We had him higher than 48 for sure.”
  • Grizzlies forward Kyle Anderson may be an option to provide wing depth for the Warriors using their traded player exception, tweets Jabari Young of CNBC. A six-year veteran, Anderson spent the past two seasons in Memphis.
  • Justinian Jessup, Golden State’s selection with the 51st pick last night, will be a draft-and-stash player, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link). Jessup is already playing for the Illawarra Hawks in Australia.

Draft Notes: Wiseman, Mannion, Stewart, Bulls

James Wiseman has only formally worked out for the Warriors, who hold the No. 2 pick, and the Hornets, who sit at No. 3, he said today in a conference call, per Austin Kent of SlamOnline.com. Wiseman has had little to no contact with the Timberwolves, but said he’d be OK if Minnesota takes him, ESPN’s Nick Friedell relays. “Whatever team that picks me, I’m going to go in there, learn as much as possible, work my tail off, and just want to win,” he said.

We have more news on the draft:

  • The Raptors and Jazz have worked Arizona freshman guard Nico Mannion, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic tweets. As previously reported, Mannion also visited with the Lakers. Mannion, who averaged 14.0 PPG and 5.3 APG as a freshman last season, is ranked No. 25 on ESPN’s Best Available list. The Jazz hold the No. 23 overall selection, while the Raptors have the No. 29 pick in the opening round.
  • University of Washington center Isaiah Stewart is ranked No. 27 by ESPN and his college coach believes his former player is being overlooked, Jonathan Givony of ESPN tweets. “I think he’s the best big man in the draft. … Every head to head matchup, it wasn’t even close,” Mike Hopkins said. “Go watch the film. It doesn’t lie.”
  • With the Bulls allowing Kris Dunn to enter unrestricted free agency, it’s even more likely they’ll target a play-maker in the draft, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer tweets. Chicago holds the No. 4 pick. The Bulls have also been exploring a trade for an experienced point guard, O’Connor adds.
  • Josh Green worked out for the Jazz, Sarah Todd of the Deseret News reports. He previously visited the Nuggets. The Arizona shooting guard is rated No. 21 by ESPN.

Los Angeles Notes: Bradley, Mannion, DeRozan, Westbrook

Avery Bradley, who has a decision to make on his player option, is changing reps and plans to sign with Charles Briscoe, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. The Lakers guard, who chose not to play during the restart, can become an unrestricted free agent if he declines the $5MM in the final year of his contract. Bradley averaged 8.6 PPG last season and started 44 of 49 games before play was halted in March. He turns 30 later this month.

We have more on the Los Angeles teams:

  • The Lakers, who hold the No. 28 pick in Wednesday’s draft, worked out University of Arizona point man Nico Mannion on Tuesday in Arizona, Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times tweets. GM Rob Pelinka was among the Lakers’ reps who attended the workout. Mannion, who averaged 14.0 PPG and 5.3 APG as a freshman last season, is currently ranked No. 25 on ESPN’s Best Available list.
  • The Lakers are reportedly interested in Spurs swingman DeMar DeRozan despite his $27.7MM cap hit and Jordan Greer of Sporting News believes he would be a good fit. DeRozan’s ability as a playmaker would give the Lakers another proven scorer when LeBron James and Anthony Davis aren’t sharing the court. DeRozan’s defensive shortcomings could be masked by a combination of the coaching staff’s schemes and Anthony Davis‘ shot-blocking, Greer adds.
  • Russell Westbrook would give the Clippers a third star but they shouldn’t pursue a deal for the disgruntled Rockets guard, Jovan Buha of The Athletic opines. Westbrook is a ball-dominant guard whose efficiency has waned in recent seasons, Buha notes. He’s not an off-the-ball threat, as he made just 25.8% of his 3-point attempts last season, allowing defenders to sag off him. Trading for his contract would also force the Clippers to gut their roster to match salaries, Buha said.

Draft Rumors: Edwards, Haliburton, Pistons, Cavs, Suns, More

While John Hollinger of The Athletic believes Anthony Edwards will still come off the board very early in next Wednesday’s draft, he notes within his new mock draft that many teams don’t seem especially enthusiastic about the former Georgia guard. Those teams believe in Edwards’ talent, but a “blah” Pro Day workout and some “iffy” background reports have made them nervous, according to Hollinger.

Hollinger has also heard that LaMelo Ball and Nico Mannion are among the players who haven’t necessarily had great interviews with teams, though it remains to be seen how much it’ll affect where they’re drafted.

On the other end of the spectrum, everybody seems to be high on Tyrese Haliburton, according to Hollinger, who says the former Iowa State guard is benefiting from 1-on-0 workouts and the background on him is “impeccable.” Desmond Bane and Isaiah Stewart are among the other prospects who have received some positive buzz for the impressions they’ve made in interviews with teams, writes Hollinger.

Hollinger’s mock draft for The Athletic is full of interesting tidbits and is worth checking out in full if you’re a subscriber. Here are a few more highlights:

  • Hollinger confirms that the Pistons are very interested in Florida State’s Patrick Williams – as has been previously reported – and suggests there are whispers that Detroit has made Williams a promise.
  • Obi Toppin and Deni Avdija are the only two names Hollinger has heard regularly connected to the Cavaliers at No. 5.
  • Onyeka Okongwu looks like a lock to go to Washington at No. 9 if he makes it that far, according to Hollinger, who says the question isn’t whether the Wizards will take Okongwu — it’s who they’ll take if he’s not available.
  • “The word is pretty strong” that the Suns are eyeing a backcourt piece with the No. 10 pick, prompting Hollinger to point out that the team may be looking to address the power forward spot in free agency.
  • There are rumors that Serbian forward Aleksej Pokusevski received a promise from a team in the first round. As Hollinger observes, Pokusevski’s agent Jason Ranne used to work for the Thunder, who have been willing to make draft promises in the past. However, even if Oklahoma City did make Pokusevski a promise, Hollinger is skeptical that he’ll still be on the board at No. 25.

Heat Notes: Ramsey, Quickley, Draft, Crowder, More

Texas Tech guard Jahmi’us Ramsey and Kentucky guard Immanuel Quickley are among the prospects whom the Heat have reached out to about potential in-person workouts, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.

The club only holds the No. 20 pick in this month’s draft, but is doing plenty of homework on the players who could be options in that range — Ramsey is the 35th prospect on ESPN’s big board, while Quickley – who has interviewed with Miami twice, per Jackson – ranks 42nd.

As Jackson details, the Heat have also “taken a look” at Washington forwards Jaden McDaniels and Isaiah Stewart, who are 23rd and 27th on ESPN’s board. Additionally, Miami has called to speak to Kentucky guard Ashton Hagans, who is ranked just 68th by ESPN. Hagans would likely only be an option for the Heat if they acquire a second-round pick or if he goes undrafted, Jackson notes.

The Heat were also expected to view group workouts for Minnesota big man Daniel Oturu (No. 37 on ESPN) and Arizona guard Nico Mannion (No. 25), writes Jackson. And as our JD Shaw reported on Monday, College of Charleston guard Grant Riller has interviewed with Miami as well.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • Although Jae Crowder is a Georgia native, he has made Miami his adopted hometown, having prepared for the 2012 draft in South Florida and having bought a house in Miami in 2017. As Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel writes, Crowder’s fondness for both Miami and the Heat should put the team in a good position to re-sign him this fall, even if he doesn’t give the club an “adopted-hometown discount.”
  • While the Heat are accustomed to getting the most out of players who might not have thrived in other environments, Derrick Jones may be a candidate to become a more complete player and have more success with a new team if he departs in free agency, Winderman says in a Sun Sentinel mailbag.
  • Ultimate Software, the company that has an advertisement patch on Heat uniforms, has merged with The Kronos Group to form the Ultimate Kronos Group, resulting in a new jersey patch for the Heat. Darren Rovell of The Action Network (Twitter link) has the details.

LaMelo Ball Headlines List Of Draft Combine Participants

Potential No. 1 overall pick LaMelo Ball will be among the prospects participating in the revamped virtual draft combine this week, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Ball is scheduled to take part in team interviews and a media session this week, but may not participate in any other portion, Jeremy Woo of SI.com cautions (via Twitter).

While Ball’s participation might be limited, many of this year’s other top prospects aren’t taking part in the event at all. As Woo points out (via Twitter), Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman, Obi Toppin, Onyeka Okongwu, Cole Anthony, Aaron Nesmith, Devin Vassell, and Saddiq Bey are among the players who don’t appear on the list of participants sent out by the NBA.

The list of top prospects besides Ball who will be participating in the event includes Precious Achiuwa, Deni Avdija, Tyrese Haliburton, RJ Hampton, Killian Hayes, Theo Maledon, and Isaac Okoro, among others.

Here’s the full list of combine participants, via Charania:

  1. Precious Achiuwa, F, Memphis
  2. Ty-Shon Alexander, G, Creighton
  3. Deni Avdija, F, Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel)
  4. Udoka Azubuike, C, Kansas
  5. LaMelo Ball, G, Illawarra Hawks (Australia)
  6. Desmond Bane, G, TCU
  7. Tyler Bey, F, Colorado
  8. Vernon Carey Jr., C, Duke
  9. Yoeli Childs, F, BYU
  10. Mamadi Diakite, F, Virginia
  11. Devon Dotson, G, Kansas
  12. Paul Eboua, F, VL Pesaro (Italy)
  13. CJ Elleby, F, Washington State
  14. Malachi Flynn, G, San Diego State
  15. Trent Forrest, G, Florida State
  16. Josh Green, G/F, Arizona
  17. Ashton Hagans, G, Kentucky
  18. Tyrese Haliburton, G, Iowa State
  19. Josh Hall, F, Moravian Prep
  20. RJ Hampton, G, New Zealand Breakers (New Zealand)
  21. Jalen Harris, G, Nevada
  22. Killian Hayes, G, Ratiopharm Ulm (Germany)
  23. Markus Howard, G, Marquette
  24. Elijah Hughes, G/F, Syracuse
  25. Isaiah Joe, G, Arkansas
  26. Mason Jones, G, Arkansas
  27. Tre Jones, G, Duke
  28. Nathan Knight, F/C, William & Mary
  29. Kira Lewis, G, Alabama
  30. Theo Maledon, G, ASVEL (France)
  31. Karim Mane, G, Vanier College (Canada)
  32. Nico Mannion, G, Arizona
  33. Naji Marshall, F, Xavier
  34. Kenyon Martin Jr., F, IMG Academy
  35. Skylar Mays, G, LSU
  36. Jaden McDaniels, F, Washington
  37. Sam Merrill, G, Utah State
  38. Zeke Nnaji, F, Arizona
  39. Jordan Nwora, F, Louisville
  40. Isaac Okoro, F, Auburn
  41. Daniel Oturu, C, Minnesota
  42. Reggie Perry, F, Mississippi State
  43. Myles Powell, G, Seton Hall
  44. Payton Pritchard, G, Oregon
  45. Immanuel Quickley, G, Kentucky
  46. Jahmi’us Ramsey, G, Texas Tech
  47. Paul Reed, F, DePaul
  48. Nick Richards, F/C, Kentucky
  49. Grant Riller, G, Charleston
  50. Jay Scrubb, G, John A. Logan College
  51. Jalen Smith, F, Maryland
  52. Cassius Stanley, G, Duke
  53. Lamar Stevens, F, Penn State
  54. Isaiah Stewart, F/C, Washington
  55. Tyrell Terry, G, Stanford
  56. Xavier Tillman, F/C, Michigan State
  57. Kaleb Wesson, F/C, Ohio State
  58. Kahlil Whitney, F, Kentucky
  59. Cassius Winston, G, Michigan State
  60. Robert Woodard II, F, Mississippi State

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA is unable to hold its typical in-person draft combine this year, but the league has put together an alternative combine that will feature interviews through videoconferencing as well as the making of “pro day” videos, which will include strength and agility testing, anthropometric measurements, and shooting drills. Participants will also undergo medical testing and exams.

For more details on this year’s combine, be sure to check out our full story on the changes.

Eastern Notes: Raptors Draft, Galloway, McConnell, Bulls

With the potential loss of Fred VanVleet in free agency and Kyle Lowry turning 34 this year, the Raptors could be in the market for a point guard in this year’s draft. With that in mind, Blake Murphy of The Athletic takes a look at floor leaders that the club could target with its late first-round pick. Duke’s Tre Jones, Stanford’s Tyrell Terry and Arizona’s Nico Mannion are some of the prospects that Murphy examines.

We have more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Pistons guard Langston Galloway, who is headed into unrestricted free agency, has “no regrets” about this season regardless of whether his team gets to play again, he told Rod Beard of the Detroit News. Galloway was the only player on the team to appear in every game and established himself as a solid second-unit shooter. “If we didn’t get to finish, I would say I had a great season and move on to the summer workouts,” he said. “I played in every single game, so I put my work on display every single game and the work I continue to put on display. I have no regrets going into the summer.”
  • Free agents T.J. McConnell, Justin Holiday and Alize Johnson are likely to remain with the Pacers next season, Scott Agness of The Athletic opines. McConnell and Holiday are solid reserves, while Johnson still has some upside. JaKarr Sampson is the only free agent that Indiana probably won’t re-sign, Agness adds.
  • The Bulls’ lottery chances could be jeopardized if they’re included in plans to resume the season, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago opines. Chicago is currently seventh in the draft lottery standings, giving the team a 32% chance at a top-four pick and a 7.5% chance at the No. 1 pick, Johnson notes. If the Bulls got hot during the resumption of play and even advanced in a revised playoff format, those odds would drop.