Iowa State point guard Tyrese Haliburton could be a perfect fit for the Warriors, especially if they trade down from the No. 2 slot, writes Mike Schmitz of ESPN. Scouts have been raving about Haliburton during the pre-draft process, and there’s a chance he comes off the board even earlier than expected. Schmitz notes that other teams have found success with three-guard lineups, and putting Haliburton alongside Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson removes the the expectations of having to run a team right away.
“I think I’m a really good fit there,” Haliburton said when asked about the possibility of going to Golden State. “I think I can obviously come in and make shots as well and be in the first unit or lead the second unit.”
Schmitz believes the 6’5″ Haliburton could become one of the best players in this year’s draft class if he lands in the right situation. He’s a favorite in the analytics community because of his efficiency and his steal and block rates. He also shoots 43.5% from 3-point range, even though his shot is unconventional, and he posted a 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio with the Cyclones.
Schmitz has more observations on this year’s draft class:
- Duke’s Tre Jones is finally at full strength after having surgery on both hips in the past two years. The reigning ACC Defensive Player of The Year appeared more explosive when Schmitz watched him in a 1-on-0 workout and he set a record in P3 Sports Science’s five-yard slide test. “I could tell (how limiting it was) in all areas really,” Jones said of his injury. “If it was on defense and I was shuffling, I could feel it there. Running straight forward I could feel it. Jumping, obviously, I could feel it. All movements I was doing I could feel some limitations there. Just being able to be 100%, being able to have my full range of motion, being able to work on everything without any pain day to day is just amazing.”
- Malachi Flynn of San Diego State is becoming a popular sleeper pick. Schmitz observed that Flynn displayed great footwork and shooting range on pick-and-rolls during 3-on-3 scrimmages in Las Vegas. “Just the style of play in the NBA, it’s definitely different from college,” Flynn said. “I think there’s a lot more space. I feel like I’ll be able to do well in that with a lot more space. You look in the playoffs, Tyler Herro having great games just by shooting the ball. Duncan Robinson has been huge for the Heat. Just guys like that, it shows that it’s a skilled league.”
- Grant Riller was a dynamic scorer at Charleston and may have an offensive game that transfers well to the NBA, Schmitz writes. He averaged more than 21 PPG as a senior and had the highest player efficiency rating among college guards. Riller said he has been studying Thunder guard Dennis Schroder. “I think we share a lot of qualities,” he said. “A quick guard that gets downhill, can score at all three levels, is good in the pick-and-roll. Pretty savvy defender. More importantly he plays both guard spots.”