Phoenix Suns NBA Draft: Why Nico Mannion is worth taking at No. 10

Nico Mannion Phoenix Suns (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Nico Mannion Phoenix Suns (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
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Phoenix Suns NBA Draft
Phoenix Suns NBA Draft (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns NBA Draft: Nico Mannion’s shooting percentages:

Nico Mannion is not the shooter Steve Nash was (at least right now). The numbers do not lie: Mannion’s shooting could have been much better, shooting under 40 percent while only registering 32.7 percent from 3-point range.

Some scouts say he will not be a good shooter at the next level. I disagree.

His shooting mechanics are pristine. He can get his shot off in the middle row inside the very back row of the airplane. Free-throw shooting percentage is the best indicator as to whether a player can shoot or not, where Mannion shot a hair under 80 percent. His projected shooting looks good. Another positive sign: his release point is at the exact same spot whether he shoots it off the catch or the dribble.

With Devin Booker commandeering the offense, Mannion will get plenty of open looks. He also does not a nice job cutting backdoor from the right side. His shooting suffered at Arizona because he was the primary ball-handler. Most of his shot attempts were contested and/or he had to navigate subpar spacing prior to getting to his preferred spot.

His poor shooting splits were a blip on the radar. I anticipate he will shoot much better at the next level. At the very least, opposing teams will learn to respect his outside shot.