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.
With the 8th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, the New York Knicks select... Tyrese Haliburton? I sat down with Posting and Toasting’s Matthew Miranda (@MMiranda613) to talk all things Haliburton, Spike Lee, and Tom Thibodeau.
How do you think Tyrese Haliburton would fit in New York, both on and off the floor?
MM: His immediate fit on the floor depends on what other moves the always-new-again Knicks make. Do they see Haliburton as a point guard, or as someone you play alongside one? If Frank Ntilikina is still a Knick come opening night, there’s a better chance Haliburton is coming off the bench, since RJ Barrett is a lock to start but an unproven shooter; it’s hard to imagine he, Ntilikina and a rookie all playing together. If the Knicks were to sign Fred VanVleet, or use one of their late draft picks on a classic point guard a la Malachi Flynn or Tyrell Terry, maybe Haliburton’s path to a starting spot opens up...though I wouldn’t bet money on Tom Thibodeau starting an all-teenager backcourt.
I don’t see any off-the-court concerns. Haliburton seems like an intelligent and generally decent human being, and despite the Knicks playing in New York and struggling for so long, it’s the owner and not their players who can’t seem to avoid controversy or grotesque behavior. I think NYC and Haliburton would be fine together.
What part of his game would be most beneficial to the Knicks?
MM: The Knicks need everything, so whaddya got? Shooting? Insightful passing? Unselfishness? Size for a playmaker? Give. They need all that and more. I’d guess his shooting would be the most immediate benefit, as it’d open the floor and make life for Barrett and Julius Randle, the team’s two best scorers, a bit easier.
The Knicks have the 8th pick in this year’s draft. How likely do you think it is they make a move and/or trade back?
MM: It feels more likely than it ever has before, given all the talk about them making a move. Whether there’s smoke because there’s fire or because it’s a smokescreen, I’m not sure. We ran a poll at P&T last week asking readers who they hoped the Knicks ended up with, and after Devin Vassell and Killian Hayes the most popular choices were trading up or down. The team has so many holes, and Leon Rose and Thibodeau don’t strike me as wanting to stink for years and accumulate lottery picks. I can see them going for quantity in this draft. Mock drafts have had Haliburton going anywhere from fourth to the mid-teens, so the Knicks could conceivably move up or down and end up with him.
Tyrese thrives as a playmaker, do-it-all type guard. What player - current or otherwise - does he remind you of?
MM: I can’t think of a perfect comp for Haliburton, which is hopefully a good sign: maybe he can be the first Tyrese Haliburton and in a few years we’re comparing prospects to him. There are flashes of Shaun Livingston there, and Michael Carter-Williams, though I hope/pray he shoots better than both of them. For the oldheads, a better-shooting but less-athletic young Ron Harper, perhaps.
On a scale of 1 to Walt Frazier, how good would Tyrese look dapping up Spike Lee after a made bucket?
MM: Haha lemme clue you in to a fact most non-New Yorkers may not know: while I love the man as a director and appreciate his loyalty as a fan, many Knicks fans would be happier without Spike forever trying to inject himself into their games and our TV screens. I’d prefer Haliburton avoid that sideshow for as long as he can.