Tyrese Haliburton is a young bachelor, in terms of NBA employment. A slew of potential suitors are lining up nicely for him in the NBA draft lottery. His partner will be determined on draft day, November 18, 2020. For now, we’ll speed date around the NBA teams finding the best fit for our beloved point guard, and which team he could end up with, for years to come. So spritz that cologne, floss those teeth, and work on your pick up lines. It’s speed-dating time. Up next, we’re exploring The Land. I spoke with Chris Manning (@cwmwrites) from Fear the Sword to see if the Cavs are the right fit.
A: Cleveland has drafted point guards in each of the last 2 drafts. Do you see that as a position that may still need addressed?
C: I think it’s possibly still a need, but not this year. The jury is still out on who exactly matters to this Cavs core, so I don’t think a long-term point guard answer is necessarily something the team won’t do. I don’t think it will be this year, though, and I think it’ll be a more Shai Gilgeous-Alexander type vs. a traditional lead guard.
A: Do you think the Cavs have a core of the future that they are looking to compliment or do you see them reaching for “star potential” with their pick?
C: I think they feel they have pieces of their core in place in Collin Sexton and Kevin Porter Jr. We’ll see about Garland too and the team is also really high on Dylan Windler. But none of those guys are the star that’s probably going to fuel the team forward in a meaningful way, so maybe they take a swing. But I don’t know if that guy is necessarily in this class and the Cavs do also think the can develop players effectively.
A: How much freedom would Tyrese Haliburton likely have with the Cavs as a rookie? Could you see him playing big minutes to develop or learning from the bench?
C: If he were the Cavs pick, I think he’d be a bench piece, but get a chance to play a role. It’s actually a role I think the Cavs need: a guard/wing combo who can defend, shoot, create a little and provide some defensive cover for smaller guards. That guy that absolutely pop and play in closing lineups and get big minutes, though. Matthew Dellavedova played that role last year, Dante Exum might get a shot this year and we’ll see if someone unexpected gets a chance. All that being said: I feel comfortable saying it’d be a shock for Haliburton to be the pick.
A: What is JB Bickerstaff’s reputation with rookie players?
C: I don’t think we know, actually. His two previous coaching stops were so win-now vs.what the Cavs are, so it’s hard to know what he’s like with rookies. But he says a lot of the right things about it - knowing that guys need time to grow and learn and whatnot - and I think the Cavs are taking the long view on this.
Players also really seem to like him and respond to him as a leader. Collin Sexton, for example, really gravitated to him vs. John Beilein last year.
A: Lastly, Tyrese is from Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Do you think Cleveland could look past that and embrace him even though he’s from Bucks country?
C: Ya, absolutely. If a player is a right pick, they could be from Mars or Krypton or a parallel Earth and you’d find a way to make it work.
Based on the Cavs’ current roster and recent draft history, it’s tough to say this would be a good fit. Other players seem to like coach JB Bickerstaff, which is a huge plus. He could be another cog in a young core that develops together without the expectation of contending right away. However, there are better fits out there. Based on our speed date, Cleveland feels the same way.