If you’re a fan of the Sacramento Kings, there’s very little to be hopeful about this season, but Tyrese Haliburton is an exception.
As it stands, SacTown is currently third to the last in the Western Conference, marginally beating the New Orleans Pelicans and Minnesota Timberwolves. They’re also dead-last when it comes to defense with an average rating of 119.7 points allowed per contest.
Although there’s a lot to be skeptical about this year, there are still a few bright spots to look forward to for Sacramento fans. For one, De’Aaron Fox recently signed a $163 million five-year extension with the Kings, locking him up for the foreseeable future.
The presence of bright young pieces in Buddy Hield and Richaun Holmes, and integral role players in Harrison Barnes and Hassan Whiteside also serve to shore up the potential of this team. Among these pieces is another player that may soon be on the rise – Tyrese Haliburton.
With the 12th pick, the Kings chose Haliburton from Iowa State University. During his last season as a college player, the 6’5” point guard averaged 15.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, 6.5 assists, and 2.5 steals per contest. He was also part of the United States’ team that competed at the 2019 FIBA Under-19 World Cup Tournament in Greece.
With his accomplishments and NBA-ready kind of game, most pundits expected Haliburton to go high in the draft. Last November 2020, the top teams in the draft passed on him and Haliburton slid down to the 12th spot where the Kings picked him. After a month into the season, this guard has already shown flashes of potential for his team. We break down the reasons why investing in Tyrese Haliburton rookie cards will pay great dividends for your card collection.
Haliburton has a good feel of the game
During his time at Iowa State, Haliburton built up a reputation of being one of the best point guards in college basketball. Scouts rave about his excellent feel of the game, which can be translated to the NBA right away. He has an impressive basketball IQ, which allows him to easily find the open man, take advantage of the mismatch, or get the bucket himself. His great knowledge of basketball is the main reason why he placed so high in mock drafts during the offseason.
Now that he’s playing as a professional in the NBA, Haliburton can optimize that skill for Sacramento. Since he won’t be carrying the offense for the Kings, this rookie can still contribute without taking up a lot of usage away from Fox. As a result, everyone on the court gets involved in some way when Haliburton is on the floor with them, thanks to the rookie’s amazing understanding of the game.
He brings a distinct defensive skill to the table
As stated above, Tyrese Haliburton averaged two steals and a half during his collegiate career. Now that he’s a pro, this rookie can use this certain skill to turn the tide in Sacramento’s favor.
Along with his steals, Haliburton can also utilize his 6”5’ size to harass opposing guards and prevent them from scoring. If he builds up his lanky frame somewhere down the road, Haliburton can even provide quality stops on the opposing team’s wings. Plus, he possesses a great basketball IQ that can be paired with his physical tools to come up with a complete defensive package for the Kings.
While there is a stark difference between how basketball is played at the college level from the pros, Haliburton’s experience in stealing possessions is a good sign for his development as a defensive-minded guard. For sure, this potential scenario will still come in handy for the Sacramento Kings, a team that sorely needs a defensive identity on the court.
Haliburton will be an integral part of the Sacramento Kings’ roster
For the longest time, the Sacramento Kings have been quite a mess. The organization has been through so many downs these past few seasons, primarily with DeMarcus Cousins and his turbulent stay with the team. Plus, it has been so long since the team has nabbed a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
This is where Haliburton can play an important role for the team. If this rookie finds a good fit with Fox, Buddy Hield, and Harrison Barnes, he can bring his unique skill set to bring everyone together to win games. He has the potential to be that glue-guy that can piece together the strengths of these players to overshadow their individual weaknesses. When that happens, Sacramento can find its groove to get a series of victories down the road.
It would be wise to keep a close eye on Haliburton right now. As the season progresses, he will still get quality minutes that can be used for his development. While that happens, monitor those Tyrese Haliburton rookie cards down the horizon before they shoot up in value soon.