Team: Iowa St.
Age: 20 (February 29, 2000)
Weight: 175 lbs
The biggest strength Haliburton possesses is his passing. As soon as he comes into the league he will be a top 20 passer in the NBA. He can make 2nd and 3rd level reads with regularity and do things that you can’t teach. Haliburton has a knack for knowing when to use what type of pass with regularity and executes it without hesitation. He knows how to put his teammates in positions to succeed. It’s instinct for him now. Iowa State’s whole offense was predicated on him making the right play out of pick and rolls which is a lot of what the NBA will ask of him and he mastered that skill at Iowa State. He also doesn’t turn the ball over often considering the amount of touches he gets per game averaging 2.8 TPG. As a scorer, Haliburton has been impressive in some areas. One of which is the outside shot. Despite irregular mechanics, he shot above 40% in both seasons and has a career 42.6% from deep. He even showed the ability to shoot a couple feet beyond the line as well. He can shoot off the dribble without his mechanics changing when it’s a relaxed dribble into a jump shot. He’s even worked on an in between game shooting fadeaways out of post-ups. This is not an established skill yet, but at his height with his ability to pass, this would be a nice skill to add to the toolbag. Haliburton has nice touch around the rim and has a pretty good off-hand for finishing purposes. Then his ball-handling skills aren’t special, but it’s good enough. He gets to where he wants and doesn’t turn it over often. Defensively, the length is special with a 7’0” wingspan. This will give a team a lot of flexibility in terms of matchups and switching. He really knows how to get after people too as a defender. He averaged 2.5 SPG his sophomore season and did it by playing the passing lanes as well as picking the pocket of opposing ball-handlers. He is willing to be a team defender too. The way he leads is something a lot of teammates will be able to get behind. When he made a turnover, he hustled back on defense without hesitation. He also wouldn’t make the same mistake twice and that said a lot about him on the defensive end especially. For example, If he got beat by a player on a pull-up one play, he made sure to close the air-space and would not allow that player to get that same look the rest of the game. Another positive is despite getting a wrist fracture that ended his season, that was the only injury he got. That is a positive, because at his weight, that is one of the first things people will be concerned about. He got a wrist injury that he should fully recover from. Then even before that injury, he wasn’t getting any little injuries that consistently kept him out/affected his play like many injury-prone players will experience.
One of the biggest concerns, despite the numbers, is the mechanics on his jump shot. It’s somewhat of a low release point with a strange wind-up. The jump shot is stiff and the ball hits hard off the rim on misses. That tells you he doesn’t have that “shooter’s touch” talent evaluators like to see. There’s parts of his shot that can improve, but there is a general concern among many it won’t translate the same. His pull-up game will definitely not be a tool for his offensive game as his mechanics look even more awkward when he gets low out of dribble penetration and rises up. The numbers don’t back that up so not having that pull-up mid will hurt when defenses are baiting him to take that shot. As a ball-handler, he’s not advanced. Most of his moves are fairly basic and conservative, but there is potential for improvement. The combination of his handles and lack of a pull-up jumper does limit his potential as he’s not a guard that can just isolate on the perimeter and get his own. When driving, the only true flaw is that he doesn’t get to the line. He tends to avoid the contact with floaters and runners right now rather than take it to the chest of the opposition. This could be his way of avoiding potential injuries, but either way, it does make him less efficient. Then to address the injury question-marks, he is 178 lbs right now which does give cause for concern, but his only injury was a wrist fracture, so you hope as an evaluator that it was just a one-time injury that won’t affect his potential career.
Notice how the fact he’s skinny is not listed as a weakness. In today’s game, there are plenty of players that play at a high level where you don’t need to have great strength anymore. The only concern is if he starts getting injuries because of it. Then that would be something to address, but there is not a correlation between his weight and his performance. Overall though, Haliburton is a very good player who fits today’s game. He is 6’5” with a 7’0” wingspan at point guard. He has All-Defensive team potential. Then as mentioned before, his skills as a distributor are unteachable. He has a special ability to put teammates in positions to succeed. The numbers also suggest he’ll be able to play on or off the ball as his career 42.6% from 3 on 4.2 attempts per game in a 57 game sample size gives hope that he should be a threat from deep especially in catch and shoot opportunities. He showed traits of leading by example and did a great job of trusting his teammates in situations when many would not have. While he will never be the best player on a championship team, He’s going to be a starting PG for years to come in the NBA and will make any team he’s on instantly better with his defense, shooting, and his ability to elevate players around him. Tyrese should be picked in the 4-8 range as teams like the Bulls, Pistons, and Knicks should all have serious interest in the Iowa State product.
Article Written by Bradley Patten
Stats found on Sports-Reference (https://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/players/tyrese-haliburton-1.html)
Original Photo Credit to Nirmalendu Majumdar/Ames Times (https://www.amestrib.com/sports/20191210/iowa-state-mens-basketball-tyrese-haliburton-says-his-rise-might-surprise-people-at-times-but-it-never-surprises-me?template=ampart)