Injuries limited Tyrese Haliburton to 58 games during his rookie season, but he still looks like a major steal in last year’s draft, writes James Ham of NBC Sports California. The Iowa State guard slid all the way to the 12th pick on draft night, delighting the Kings, who had been hoping to get their hands on him.
“We had even been trying to move up and secure him,” general manager Monte McNair said in a recent TV interview. “When he ultimately fell to No. 12, obviously you never know how it will turn out, but in that moment, we were extremely excited. … I think we may have made a record-setting quick call to the league to lock that pick in. Like I said, he’s even exceeded those expectations and we had very high expectations of him through all of our draft prep and everything.”
Haliburton made a strong case for a spot on the All-Rookie team, averaging 13.0 points, 5.3 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. A hyperextended left knee ended his season early, but Ham states that the Kings are confident he’ll be ready for a full summer program with the team in preparation for next season.
There’s more from the Pacific Division:
- Terence Davis had a short stay in Toronto, but it sounds like he wants to be with the Kings a lot longer, notes Jason Jones of The Athletic. The Raptors traded Davis to Sacramento in March, and he likes his new situation enough that he’s leaning toward re-signing when he becomes a restricted free agent this summer. “It’s definitely looking like that,” Davis said. “It’s looking really good for me. I would say this is some of the best basketball I’ve played in my career, even in college, this is a stretch of some of the best games I’ve played in my entire life.”
- The Lakers continue to be careful with their stars as the season winds down. According to an ESPN story, Anthony Davis will sit out tonight against the Rockets after experiencing tightness in his left adductor during Tuesday’s game. He will join LeBron James, who announced earlier today that he will delay his return until at least Saturday. James visited an ankle specialist last week, sources told ESPN, and was able to practice Monday without having difficulty with making sharp cuts and jumping.
- Serge Ibaka has already been listed as out for Thursday’s game, but the Clippers remain hopeful he can return before the regular season ends Sunday, writes Mirjam Swanson of The Orange County Register. Ibaka, who has missed the past 29 games with lower back tightness, is traveling with the team on its current road trip.