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Tyrese Haliburton thought he had a chance of going No. 2

Warriors, Tyrese Haliburton

Tyrese Haliburton’s fall to the No. 12 spot was one of the more shocking developments of the 2020 NBA draft.

But it wasn’t a surprise to Haliburton, despite the fact he told Sam Amick of The Athletic he thought he had a chance of going to the Golden State Warriors with the No. 2 overall pick:

“On draft day, specifically, I thought I could go as high as (No.) 2 to Golden State,” Haliburton said, via Amick. “The realistic spots I was thinking were Golden State at 2, Chicago at 4, maybe Atlanta at 6, Detroit at 7, San Antonio at 11 and Sacramento at 12. This, of course, was without any trades happening. But I knew the floor was Sacramento. That was the discussion I had with my agent (Aaron Mintz of CAA). He was like, ‘Sacramento is going to pick you at 12 if you’re there.’ So that day — and I’m going to be honest with you — I keep my expectations low in basically everything I do so I don’t end up ever disappointing myself.”

Haliburton would have made for an interesting pick at No. 2 for the Warriors.

The former Iowa State guard would have given the Warriors a perfect complement to Stephen Curry as a guy who could make plays as a secondary ball-handler and shoot the ball from the perimeter. Of course, Golden State went into draft day believing Klay Thompson was still the starting shooting guard, which in part would seem to inform the decision to select James Wiseman.

Instead, Haliburton fell to the Sacramento Kings at No. 12, and he has been a tremendous asset thus far. The 21-year-old is one of the leading candidates for Rookie of the Year, averaging 13.0 points, 5.1 assists and 3.2 rebounds while shooting over 41 percent from beyond the arc.

Warriors fans might have a feeling of “What could have been” when it comes to Haliburton, especially with Thompson being sidelined and Wiseman just recently sustaining a knee injury expected to keep him out for the remainder of the season.