Warriors plan to play Nico Mannion in the G League bubble at Disney

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Cody Taylor
·2 min read
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Golden State Warriors rookie Nico Mannion has only played in one game this season, but that could soon change with the NBA G League season tentatively scheduled to begin in February.

The NBA G League announced on Friday that the 2021 season will take place in a bubble environment. The Warriors are one of 18 teams that will participate in the season at the Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Florida.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said that the current plan is for Mannion to join the team’s G League affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors, in the bubble, but added that could change depending on the circumstances.

“We’ll make the decision when we get to that point but I know Nico, in particular, could really use a stretch of just playing 30-plus minutes every single night,” Kerr said. “He just hasn’t had a chance to play much. … I think it’s especially valuable for Nico and that would be the plan.”

Mannion, who was the 48th overall pick, is signed to a two-way contract and would normally split his time between the NBA and G League. However, the start of the G League season has been delayed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic so players like Mannion have missed out on a valuable opportunity to develop.

Players signed to two-way contracts typically can spend up to 45 days in the NBA but the league is permitting those players the opportunity to play in 50 games this season. The pandemic has caused teams to change up development plans, something the Warriors are adapting to on the fly.

“It definitely hurts our development program, just like it hurts everybody’s [plans],” Kerr said. “If this were a normal season then Nico would go down to Santa Cruz and play in a game and maybe play 30-plus minutes and then be active here for us the next night at a Warriors home game. So, it’s just a completely different vibe. We have to change the development plan, which means Nico’s doing a ton of work pre- and post-practice with our development staff. He is doing a fantastic job.”

The NBA G League game and broadcast schedule will be announced at a later date, but it was reported the regular season will tip off on Feb. 8. The top eight teams will advance to a single-elimination playoff, set to run March 5-9.

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