In a draft night twist, the Sacramento Kings have selected Tyrese Haliburton with the No. 12 pick. Haliburton was projected to be a top-five pick, but he unexpectedly fell all the way to the Kings at No. 12 and the pick became a no-brainer for Monte McNair.
The Kings never imagined Tyrese Haliburton could get to them at No. 12, sources tell ESPN, but...here he comes.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 19, 2020
The Kings draft room after selecting Tyrese Haliburton. A lot of happy executives. pic.twitter.com/DiXp5rRhrt— Tony Xypteras (@TonyXypteras) November 19, 2020
In his sophomore season with Iowa State, Haliburton averaged 15.2 points per game on 59.2% shooting from the field, including 41.9% shooting from behind the arc. He also averaged 6.5 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game. His impressive averages earned him a spot on the 2019-20 All-Big 12 Second Team.
For a team that hasn’t had much luck in the draft in recent years, this certainly appears to be a steal for the Kings unless there are any red flags in his pre-draft medical reports. Even then, the Kings can afford to play the waiting game with Haliburton because they already have a bona fide starting point guard in De’Aaron Fox.
However, for that same reason, it will be interesting to watch how the Kings develop Haliburton. In addition to Fox, they have $12.6 million committed to Cory Joseph for the 2020-21 season. Obviously Haliburton’s not going to come in and contribute right away — or at least he’s not expected to — but Luke Walton should still make it a priority to get him meaningful minutes in his rookie season, whether that’s alongside or behind Fox and Joseph.
Here are the specifics of Haliburton’s rookie contract courtesy of ESPN’s salary cap guru front office insider Bobby Marks:
Four-years $17.9M for pick no. 12 Tyrese Haliburton— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) November 19, 2020
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.