It’s been less than a year since Tyrese Haliburton fell to the Sacramento Kings on draft night, but it’s already safe to say he was the steal of the draft.
Despite having no Summer League experience, it was evident from the first week of play that he was going to be vital to the rotation. Haliburton ended the season having averaged 13.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.3 steals per game and finished third in Rookie of the Year voting.
Notably, his rookie campaign came to an end with a scary injury against the Oklahoma City Thunder on May 2. It was an awkward fall and it’s safe to say Kings fan were expecting the worst; come to find out his rehabilitation wouldn’t require surgery.
Haliburton has been within sight of Kings fans all summer long, appearing at several Summer League games in Las Vegas and the California Classic and working out with new teammates. One thing is for sure: Tyrese is all in on this team.
Best-case: Haliburton quickly returns to action and continues to produce for this team.
Winning Western Conference Rookie of the month two consecutive months, Hali was an integral part of Sacramento’s offense and defense from the very start. I think that it’s time for Luke Walton to firmly establish Tyrese’s place in the starting line-up, as he wasn’t solidified in last year’s rotation in situations where he could have been the spark plug the Kings needed to start off games.
Haliburton has an opportunity to win the Most Improved Player, with Vegas odds placing him in the conversation.
Worst-case: Injuries continue to sideline the young star.
Haliburton suffered a few random injuries last season, barring him from game play for an extensive period of time. All signs point to improvement with the second year star, but there are the occasional sophomore slides that we’ve seen in year’s past.
I believe Tyrese is on the trajectory to improve himself and this team. If him and Fox can manage to stay on the court, the sky is the limit.