NBA Draft Bio: Tyrese Haliburton

Road to the Draft

Tyrese Haliburton, from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, earned the State’s Gatorade Player of the Year honors, by averaging 23.2 ppg, 6.3 apg, 5.2 rpg and 3.7 steals in high school. A late bloomer, he wasn’t able to entertain many scholarship offers and ended up accepting one from Iowa State. After a quiet Freshman season, his work Team USA at the FIBA U19 World Championships in 2019 put him on the NBA radar, and that momentum carried him to a much-improved Sophomore year, averaging 15.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 6.5 apg with 2.5 steals. An All-Big 12 Academic, he is also the cousin of NBA veteran and 3x All-Star Eddie Jones.


At 6'5" with a 6'8" wingspan, Haliburton has wonderful size and length for a Point Guard. He’s an excellent floor general and a gifted passer, blessed with a good first step. He can go either way with both hands and can penetrate into the paint or turn the corner in the pick and roll. A solid shooter (an efficient 50.9% from the field) with nice range, he hit on 42.6% of his 3-pointers in his two years as a Cyclone. His dynamic playmaking talents translate to the other side of the ball, as he can be a difference-maker on the defensive end, too. The rapid improvement in his game is indicative of his high basketball IQ, savviness and overall feel for the game. He makes sound, smart plays and doesn’t beat himself on court.

Areas of Improvement

Battling injuries in his Sophomore season, and weighing in at 180 lbs., he has a slender frame and needs to add muscle. More powerful NBA guards will be able to push Haliburton around on the block and he may have issues working around pick-and-rolls. Despite his efficient shooting numbers, he does have an odd shot. He can be relied upon to hit open shots, but his form may not hold up when it's tightly contested in the NBA. Athletically, you won't see many high flying highlights from Haliburton and this lack of explosiveness may hurt him at the NBA level. 

Overall Outlook

Haliburton may be one of the most underrated players in the draft this year, as he seemingly is always an afterthought - being lightly recruited out of high school and attending a low-profile school may have something to do with that. Don't sleep on the rangy point guard as his weaknesses are correctable, and he already has the physical tools to succeed at the NBA level. His development will determine his place in the NBA, and he has an outside chance of turning in an All-Star caliber career. Look for Haliburton to eventually earn some All-Defensive votes the longer he stays in the league. 

Photo Credit: Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire