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.
I sat down with Detroit Bad Boys to discuss
Dylan- 1. Detroit is a team currently in flux, they traded away one of their corner pieces in Andre Drummond, and still have veterans like Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose on contract, what young pieces does Detroit have that compliment a pass first point guard like Tyrese?
Bad Boys- 1. The Pistons have a lot of building to do, and a few young pieces that could benefit from a willing point guard. Luke Kennard, should he not be traded, is a terrific 3-point shooter and solid cutter as well as a capable secondary ball handler. He could work well with a player who fits a similar profile in Haliburton, becoming a two-headed monster of a backcourt similar to how Dwane Casey liked to run things in Toronto. There is also Christian Wood, a big man with a very solid 3-point shot and with the ability to finish at the rim. He has the skills to make just about any point guard look good. There is also Sekou Doumbouya who is extremely young and gifted, and could use someone putting him in positions to succeed.
Dylan- There’s been talk of Derrick Rose getting traded to a contender, either of the teams in Los Angeles for example, would you rather have D-Rose stay in Detroit and mentor a young guard like Tyrese, or trade him away for assets and let Haliburton eat up those minutes?
Bad Boys- I think that mentorship could come via the free agent market just as easily as it could come from Derrick Rose, so if the team found a great offer for him before the start of the season they should pounce. Rose seems like a guy who could excel taking someone under his wing, but if that same advice came from a vet like DJ Augustin, Mike Conley (via trade) or Jeff Teague that could be good too. Either way, the Pistons will be bad and there should be plenty of opportunity for Haliburton to play on or off the ball.
Dylan- Dwane Casey proved that he was a great coach in Toronto but hasn’t exactly shined in Detroit. Haliburton excels in transition, and is a more than capable pick and roll point guard. How would Casey’s scheme fit with Haliburton’s style of play?
Bad Boys- Casey loves to use versatile 3-guard lineups with plenty of ball handlers and spacing on the floor. If he added Haliburton to the mix, I imagine he’d be used similarly to how Fred Van Vleet was used in the early days in Toronto. He played 1,500 minutes in his second season and played nearly 600 of those minutes alongside another point guard. Add Christian Wood and Blake Griffin as two big men who can hit 3s, and you have the potential for a five-out offense with lots of driving lanes and open 3s available.
Dylan- Let’s assume the Pistons are all in on a rebuild. Do guys like Luke Kennard, and Sekou Doumbouya have higher ceilings than people realize, or do you see the best prospects for the Pistons coming from future drafts?
Bad Boys- Sekou was the youngest player in his draft class so it’s extremely hard to say what his ceiling might be. He certainly has the athleticism and natural talent to potentially become a true impact player. Kennard is more of a perfect complementary piece. HIs offense is more than just spot-up shooting, but he’s not the kind of athlete and playmaker to become the No. 1 option. This team is certainly missing the alpha scorer you’d build your team around, and it looks more likely than not that if Sekou isn’t that player, and with the kinds of players likely available at No. 7, any future No. 1 guy would come in future drafts.
Dylan- Tyrese Haliburton is one of the most charismatic players to come through the doors of Hilton Coliseum, tell me about how he could be the most well liked point guard in Pistons history.
Bad Boys- The Detroit Pistons have a great legacy of point guards — Isiah Thomas and Chauncey Billups are idols. If Tyrese is great on the floor and great in an interview then Detroit would love him all the more.
Dylan- The Pistons are one of the most historic franchises in the NBA, but in the last decade or so have been largely irrelevant, and therefore not covered by national media as heavily. What are the expectations for this next year, and some things the average NBA fan should look forward to in this coming season?
Bad Boys- The most interesting thing to watch out for would be how much this team is interested in winning now and how much they want to just wipe the slate clean. New GM Troy Weaver has talked about the franchise like he thinks it could be competitive, but that might just be lip service. It’s not THAT long ago Blake Griffin was a top-20 player in a Pistons uniform. So if the team has Blake and Derrick Rose on hand and a re-signed Christian Wood at the beginning of the year, and the team decides to spend money on high-level free agents (Fred Van Vleet is a name often tossed around), the team could be competitive. But they are obviously not in the upper tier of the East. But it’s hard to say what kind of environment this pick will be walking into — will it be a pretty decent team and the rookie fills a gap in the rotation, is it a year spent largely in the G League or is it a total teardown and trial by fire. Hard to say!
Post-Date Thoughts- The Pistons, for now, are a burger of bleh. Looking at mock drafts initially, Tyrese to the Pistons didn’t really do it for me. However, this Dwane Casey Toronto 2.0 talk started to appeal to me. Also, I’m not projecting or predicting that Tyrese will ascend to the heroic seats of Thomas or Billups in the respected pantheon of Pistons point guards, but boy is it fun to dream about. Christian Wood is getting some major love in the free agent market, but if they retain Wood for a decent price, even if Griffin and Rose aren’t in Detroit, Tyrese could be at the helm of a very dangerous Piston ship.. or automobile, in the coming years.