Haliburton, who was selected with the No. 12 pick in the draft, finished with 16 points and four blocks off the bench in the team’s victory over New York. The Knicks ultimately bypassed Haliburton in the event and chose to draft Obi Toppin at No. 8 instead.
“I guess it fueled me personally,” Haliburton said with a grin, as relayed by Joyce. “But I love it here. I’m glad I slid to 12. … It’s not hard feelings or nothing, it is what it is. It’s a business, I don’t care.
“My job is to make them think about that when they go to sleep. So I’m just going to go out there and be the best player I can be. I’m not that big into that [motivation].”
There’s more from the Eastern Conference tonight:
- Drew Maresca of Basketball Insiders examines three potential trade targets for the Knicks, including Hawks forward John Collins. New York has opened the season with a 8-9 record, last making the playoffs during the 2012/13 campaign. Atlanta could choose to explore Collins’ trade value if the team feels comfortable starting Danilo Gallinari and Clint Capela going forward.
- Pistons veteran Wayne Ellington made the most of his opportunity as a starter on Friday, scoring 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting from deep, Keith Langlois of NBA.com writes. Ellington, one of the league’s most underrated three-point shooters, has shot 48% from behind-the-arc in his first 11 games this season after signing with Detroit in free agency.
- Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report explores whether the Bulls should trade Zach LaVine or Lauri Markkanen. Chicago has opened the campaign at 7-9 under new head coach Billy Donovan after finishing 11th in the Eastern Conference last season.