Interview – Tyrese Haliburton Is A Student Of The Game And Not Satisfied With Just Being Drafted


Interview – Tyrese Haliburton Is A Student Of The Game And Not Satisfied With Just Being Drafted


The Sacramento Kings struck gold on draft night, selecting Tyrese Haliburton with the 12th pick on the evening. 

It’s surprising the 20 year-old fell all the way to the Kings, as most experts had him in the top 10 and even in the top 5 in some cases. Nevertheless, the Kings front office is counting their lucky stars, as Haliburton’s addition gives them a whole new dimension moving forward.

Suiting up for Iowa State last season, Haliburton posted solid averages of 15.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 2.5 steals in 36.7 minutes in 22 starts. His efficiency was outstanding, connecting on 50% from the field, 41% from downtown and 82% from the free throw line. 

Haliburton spent two seasons at Iowa, finishing sixth in scoring, second in field goal percentage, first in assists, first in steals and third in three-point percentage in the Big 12. 

After establishing himself as a legitimate five-star recruit in college, he will now join the Kings in an attempt to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2006.  

After his name was called on draft night, I spoke to Haliburton about being widely regarded as the most cerebral player in the class.  


DP: A lot of people have said in this draft that you have the best feel for the game out of any prospect. It’s not something that can be really measured with statistics, but how do you feel about that, and what can you speak to with that?

TYRESE HALIBURTON: Just a high-IQ dude. I’m a student of the game of basketball. I love the game of basketball, so I spend a lot of time watching film, doing the little things that some people might not want to take the time to do. I love the game of basketball, and I’m invested in it with my whole heart. And now that I’m in the NBA, some people think it’s a time to be satisfied, but no, I’m ready to get to work. I want to compete. I want to win games. I’m ready to get after it. 


As you can see, Haliburton’s love for the game aids him in his ability to affect it in many ways. The consensus is he’s the most well-rounded rookie coming into the league, and his production as well as the eye test from last season supports that viewpoint. 

The 6-foot-7 guard is an ideal fit alongside speedy point guard De’Aaron Fox, whom the Kings just secured on a five-year max deal. Their contrasting playing styles will compliment each other perfectly, with Haliburton providing the feel and the finesse, whilst Fox gives the roster explosion and a relentless scoring threat. 

Haliburton is an asset away from the ball also, with his ability to shoot from distance and his size and length from either back court position. With both he and Fox, the Kings have the foundation to boast of the premier back courts in the league in the not-so-distant future. 

Acquiring Haliburton also gave the Kings security in letting Bogdan Bogdanovic walk as a restricted free agent, opting not to match the offer sheet signed by the Atlanta Hawks. 

All in all, Haliburton radiates the type of maturity and infectious energy that is rare in players his age. His overall love for the game and his high basketball IQ will take the Kings to a new level, and his development will go a long way into determining how good they can truly become down the line.   

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