Tyrese Haliburton often gets described as a coach's dream. It's a great compliment but it's always been a bit of a backhanded compliment if a player won a Coaches Award, the type of recognition reserved for a player who might have the mind, heart, and effort of a champion, but lacks the talent and athleticism needed for greatness. The good news is that a player with those types of intangibles has a very high floor. Haliburton fits the bill here. His intangibles are off the charts, and he'll be a useful player in the NBA for a long time.
The question with him is: what's his ceiling? Is he just a solid rotation player, or can he be great? Our model says... it depends on your definition of great:
- He projects to be an excellent defender. His defensive grade in our model 82/100 puts him in the 95th percentile for guards. He posted a strong Defensive BPM of 3.1 (77th percentile for guards) and great numbers for both steals (2.4 per 36, 93rd percentile for guards) and blocks (0.7 per 36, 91st percentile for guards).
- He graded at an excellent 92/100 on his overall offensive impact. He was good as a playmaker, assisting on 6.3 baskets per 36 (77th percentile for guards), but his impact is really shown by his enormous 9.1 Offensive BPM (91st percentile for guards).
- His form has received criticism, but he takes and makes a lot of threes. He went 2.3 / 5.5 per 36, shooting a tidy 42% from deep (86th percentile for guards). His free throw percentage of 82% is an indicator that this isn't a fluke
- He's a highly efficient scorer, posting a 63% True Shooting, good for the 92nd percentile amongst guards
- He's a good rebounder for a guard. He only received a 39/100 grade from our model, but that put him in the 89th percentile for guards as a rebounder
- He's not a major threat as a scorer, simply because he doesn't take a lot of shots. He averaged only 10.9 field goal attempts per 36 (18th percentile for guards). While that's a low number, it's also a major increase from his freshman campaign where he only took 5.2 shots per 36.
- Perhaps even more damning for him as a scorer is that he only got to the line 2.0 times per 36 (2nd percentile for guards). This may be the area where his lack of strength hurts him the most.
Haliburton may never make an All-Star team, and he'll likely never be a household name, but he's a winner. Period. His shooting, playmaking, and efficiency makes any offense better, and he's a multi-positional disrupter on defense. The only hole in his game is that he... doesn't shoot a lot?
Our model found Haliburton to be almost a carbon copy of Lonzo Ball, with a very high comparison rating of 95% between the two of them, and I completely agree on that as his comp. Neither needs the ball to make their impact felt, they're both like a Jason Kidd lite. So imagine Lonzo if he didn't have an insane family and his jumper was less weird (Haliburton's FTs: 82%, Lonzo's college FTs: 67%). That's a player I'd want on my team every time.
- Our Comp: Lonzo Ball
- Suggested Draft Range: Top 5
- Immediate Impact: High (secondary playmaker, 3&D wing)
- Long Term Potential: Moderate (elite glue guy, 14 PPG / 5 RPG / 7 APG on 50% / 40% / 90% shooting)
Comparing Haliburton and Lonzo: