NBA Exec: Knicks 'On the Right Track' If They Draft Tyrese Haliburton in Round 1

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMay 20, 2020

AUSTIN, TEXAS - FEBRUARY 01: Tyrese Haliburton #22 of the Iowa State Cyclones drives with the ball against the Texas Longhorns at The Frank Erwin Center on February 01, 2020 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Chris Covatta/Getty Images)
Chris Covatta/Getty Images

The New York Knicks need a long-term solution at point guard, and Iowa State's Tyrese Haliburton could be the answer, an unnamed NBA executive told Marc Berman of the New York Post

"I think the Knicks are on the right track if they take him at six," the executive told Berman.

The Knicks' final first-round spot won't be decided until after the draft lottery, but they currently have the NBA's sixth-worst record.

Haliburton checks off a lot of boxes.

The 6'5" floor general fills out the stat sheet as evidenced by his 15.2 points, 6.5 assists and 5.9 assists per game as a sophomore. 

The U-19 FIBA World Cup gold medalist also shot 42.6 percent from beyond the arc.

Berman also spoke with an unnamed scout who provided the following report:

"I'm a fan of Haliburton. I thought he really knew how to play. He has great height for the position and exceptional length. However, he is very thin. He also has to fix his shot because of a low release point. But he has touch and can shoot from distance.

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"He has knowledge and ability to defend but needs to add strength. He leads and competes. He's a very good prospect. Physicality is a question but otherwise one of the better and more mature guards in a weak draft."

The 21-45 Knicks have rotated Elfrid Payton, Dennis Smith Jr. and Frank Ntilikina at point this year. While Payton has arguably found the most success with his 10.0 points and 7.2 assists per game, none of them appear to be a long-term solution on a Knicks team which would be best served by a full rebuild in hopes of making the playoffs for the first time since 2012-13.

For his part, Haliburton would appear to be up for the challenge of playing in Madison Square Garden, speaking with ESPN's Rachel Nichols about it on The Jump:

"Being in New York, they always talk about the pressure of being a Knick," Haliburton said (h/t Berman). "I feel like no matter where I go, the pressure I put on myself is more than I'll get from anywhere. No matter where I'm at, that pressure is prominent and it will be more from me. I'm ready to play anywhere."

If Haliburton is the Knicks' choice, he would be the first draft pick taken under new president Leon Rose, who took over the franchise's basketball operations in March.