VIDEO – Nico Mannion and the Suns

(AP Photo/John Locher)

Sit, watch and learn from CP3.

Nico Mannion would have to be near the top of the heap of Arizona high school basketball talent that I’ve seen play in person. At Pinnacle High School, he was must-see. Wednesday night, he’ll become another Valley athlete joining the professional sports scene, when he’s selected in the NBA Draft. But he’s no longer projected to be a lottery pick, as was the case a year ago when the Wildcats season was just getting underway.  photo courtesy Michael Rincon Photography Mock drafts have him being selected in the second round. So, will he have a chip on his shoulder?

“Definitely,” Mannion said during a pre-draft virtual call earlier this week. “I mean, where I’m slotted, I feel I’m better than that. But I get it. They base it off college, they base it off certain stuff. So it makes sense. I understand why I’m slotted there.”

Right now, the Suns own just the 10th overall pick. They have no second-round selection, but if Nico is still on tbe board in the second round, why wouldn’t the Suns try to figure out a way to grab a pick and nab him? 

Lots of intangibles, including the popular “hometown kid” label. Taking local talent has proven to be a smart business strategy by the Arizona Cardinals. Of course, that shouldn’t be the first metric, but I believe Mannion can play more than a little bit.