Tyrese Haliburton
Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

Tyrese Haliburton is the next prospect up in our prospect spotlight. I go back and forth on if Haliburton is a top 10 pick. He has the desirable skill set that teams want in a modern guard, but what is it that holds him back? What, if anything, would make a top 10 team hesitate or pull the trigger on Haliburton? Let’s take a peak.

Strengths: Shooting, Playmaking, Size

Standing 6’5 with great athleticism, Haliburton already stands out among the other guards in the draft. These attributes along with his massive wingspan allow Haliburton to be an effective defender. Haliburton may have one of the highest basketball IQs of anyone in the draft. Amazing playmaking skills and easily gets the ball to the open man. Despite the emphasis of shooting in today’s NBA, many of the prospects this draft suffer from a lack of or not a great 3pt shot. Not Haliburton. Shooting in the mid 40% range is not bad from coming out of college. He already shoots well off the dribble or a catch-and-shoot situation well beyond NBA range. All desirable skill sets of a modern guard.

Weaknesses: Frame, First Step

You may ask how size can be a strength and frame be a weakness? Just look at Haliburton. Yes, he’s tall and lanky, but he has hardly any muscle. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of guards in the NBA that aren’t super strong and rely on their speed and ball handing to outmaneuver their defenders. Unfortunately for Haliburton, his moves off the dribble one-on-one aren’t on the level of some of the other guards in this class. His dribble penetration comes more from fast breaks or within the offensive scheme rather than creating it himself. Being the primary ball handler means ad-libbing and creating for yourself and others.

I like Tyrese Haliburton and his game, but there’s just something that holds me back from taking him in the top 10. He needs to go somewhere that has an established point guard to backup/play beside or a team with vets to share minutes with and eventually take over. I feel like the Knicks would rather jump on LaMelo than Haliburton, but if a deal couldn’t get done to move up, Halliburton isn’t a bad option. Haliburton moves up and down for me because I don’t really know where to put him. Regardless, who ever does pull the trigger on Haliburton will have a good guard with great potential.

Best Fit: New York, Detroit, Phoenix, New Orleans

Current NBA Comparison: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

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