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Sacramento Kings WIN the NBA Draft First Round: Select Tyrese Haliburton 12th Overall

With the 12th overall selection in the 2020 NBA Draft the Sacramento Kings selected Tyrese Haliburton – 6’5″, 175 lbs, 7′ wingspan – guard from Iowa State University.

TWITTER – @SactownCrown – 11/19/20

For Kings fans experiencing chronic draft day anxiety – KHTK 1140 reported Haliburton saying, “Sacramento is the perfect spot for me… I’m ready to get to work right away.”

Tyrese Haliburton ‘Slips’ to SacTown

The Iowa State Cyclone played two seasons in college.

During the COVID shortened 2019/20 season, the sophomore Tyrese Haliburton averaged 15.2 points, 6.5 assists and 1 steal per game. He shot 50% FG, 40% 3pt FG and 82% free throws.

It seemed like the first three selections in the NBA draft went ‘as planned’. Then the Chicago Bulls selected Patrick Williams, big man out of Florida State. I did not see many mock drafts with Williams going to Chicago. The Bulls selection seemed to ‘stir’ things up over the next ten or so selections.

I saw MANY mock drafts that had Haliburton in the top 6 selections. Link HERE!

A mock draft by Tankathon had him going at 4th overall!

Link to complete list of 2020 NBA Draft selections

High Praise for Kings Rookie

Former NBA assistant GM Bobby Marks, currently an NBA draft analyst for ESPN, was live on the ESPN NBA Draft TV coverage praising Haliburton.

Marks mentioned that Haliburton is the best pre-draft interview he has been part of during 25 years working in the NBA and at ESPN.

Live on ESPN, Marks also went on to say that he thinks he will be in the league for 15 years.

In the heat of the moment, Marks even went on to state on the air that “the Kings are winning the night so far.”

Marks compares Haliburton’s ‘FLOOR’ to Shaun Livingston.

That type of praise speaks for itself!

Marks is interviewed HERE by ‘Deuce & Mo’.

Tyrese Haliburton Touted for High Basketball IQ

Iowa State men’s basketball head coach Steve Prohm is interviewed HERE by ‘Deuce & Mo’.

More than just his on court playing ability, Prohm praises a lot of the ‘intangibles’ that Haliburton brings to the Kings organization. High IQ, spirit, passion. Coach Prohm even went to describe Haliburton as a ‘rock star’.

One last comment from the Iowa State Cyclone head coach – “Sacramento is in for a treat.”

Offensive Efficiency

Haliburton shot an impressive 49% on ‘Catch and Shoot’ opportunities.


My Thoughts on Haliburton

After watching some film on Tyrese a few things pop out to me:

He is a playmaker, with great vision. The new King is patient with the ball coming off of screens and when probing into the lane.

The vision and patience he displayed, and the ability to find the open player for an assist, is something that stood out while watching film.

Change of Pace

He changes speeds well and uses that change of pace to his advantage on offense.

Although his shot may look ‘unconventional’, it looks efficient and confident. That confident release from deep will help when long, athletic NBA defenders are closing out on him after a drive and kick from De’Aaron Fox.

The 12th overall selection can also score at ‘all three levels’.

He shoots at a high percentage and with confidence from three, has a patient mid-range/floater game, and also demonstrates patience, touch and ability to finish around the basket.

As he continues to gain strength, his ability to finish in the lane will continue to improve. Which will open up more outside shooting opportunities for him. The future is BRIGHT for Haliburton.

Areas that Need Improvement


As mentioned previously, Haliburton needs to continue to gain weight and strength. One ‘knock’ scouts have on Tyrese is his ability to defend the pick and roll against bigger defenders.

His lack of size has also presented a struggle when trying to drive and finish in the lane. As well as taking the ball up the floor against full court pressure.

I think that with time, nutrition and training – he will add the needed ‘NBA’ weight. There is NO lack of effort, that I’ve seen, when it comes to his defensive intensity – just sometimes a lack of size.

Awkward, Slow Release

His shot has been criticized to be slow at release and ‘awkward.’ I personally think that with a few tweaks, over time, he will continue to hit at the high shooting percentage he displayed in his final collegiate season (50% FG, 41% 3pt FG).

Kings GM McNair Setting New Precedent in SacTown

As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, Kings new general manager Monte McNair is not the same old ‘KANGZ’ GM.

In an article on KHTK 1140 McNair said of the Kings draft strategy

“It was just about the best player available. It always will be,” McNair said during a media session after the draft. “We’re happy that he fits the style of play we want, but first and foremost he was the best talent available to us and we don’t pass up talent.”

That seems to be a big change from the Kings previous draft strategy … which wasn’t very clear or very … good.

Tyrese HaliBURNin’

The 6’5″, 175 lbs guard went on the Carmichael Dave show a few days after the NBA Draft and said he had gained 17lbs over quarantine. That’s 17lbs of GOOD weight, not Carmichael Dave weight.

That is very promising to hear. As a leaner player, it seems like Haliburton needs to add a little weight over the next few years. Not necessarily to get stronger, but to be better able to take the physicality of the NBA.

Looking Ahead

Training camp is slated to start December 1st. That’s … SOON!

Keep an eye out for my next article – ANALYZING Kings 2nd round selections Robert Woodard II and Jahmi’us Ramsey.

GO Kings!

-Tom Witt

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