Minnesota Timberwolves NBA Draft 2020 Prospect Profile: Tyrese Haliburton

Tyrese Haliburton of the Iowa State Cyclones. (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images)
Tyrese Haliburton of the Iowa State Cyclones. (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves, Tyrese Haliburton
Tyrese Haliburton of the Iowa State Cyclones. (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images) /

Tyrese Haliburton’s draft stock is rising. Could he be a trade-back target for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2020 NBA Draft?

Let’s start with the obvious: Tyrese Haliburton isn’t likely to be the Minnesota Timberwolves‘ selection with the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft.

For some time now, the selection has been expected to be one of LaMelo Ball or Anthony Edwards, or possibly James Wiseman if the Wolves trade the pick.

However, Haliburton’s draft stock seems to be rising, with the Iowa State guard even getting some chatter to Golden State with the No. 2 pick. Even if the Warriors aren’t serious about taking him second overall, it means that the general perception of Haliburton as a prospect has continued to change for the better.

Let’s start by talking about Haliburton’s strengths before covering his weaknesses, and then finally, what his fit could be with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Tyrese Haliburton NBA Draft 2020 Prospect Profile: Strengths

Haliburton has many similarities to Killian Hayes, who we recently profiled as a possible darkhorse candidate for the No. 1 pick.

The ideal position for Haliburton is probably that of a primary ballhandler with the ability to orchestrate an offense. However, his off-ball skill set and shooting touch suggests that he could also be a solid fit as a secondary distributor and scorer.

Haliburton’s size is an asset. He stands 6-foot-5 and has a wingspan of 6-foot-8 — again, almost identical to Hayes. His feel for the game is outstanding on both ends of the floor; he’s probably one of the top-five passers among draft prospects.

Additionally, Haliburton is a solid shooter. He hit on 42.6 percent of his 237 3-point attempts over two years at Iowa State, and 57.7 percent of his overall shot attempts were from deep.

His catch-and-shoot game could use some refining, as could his shot mechanics, which are unorthodox. But he has a great jumping-off point in terms of his all-around efficiency, and his improved free throw stroke (69.2 percent as a freshman to 82.2 percent this season) is a good sign, too.

The most intriguing thing about Haliburton is perhaps how impressive he is defensively. While he isn’t quite athletic enough to be an outstanding one-on-one defender, he has the size and lateral quickness to be solid on the ball. Off the ball, however, is where he sets himself apart.

Haliburton is shockingly adept at picking his spots as a help defender, knowing when to rotate to help a teammate or simply stunt and recover to his man. He’s long enough to get chase-down blocks if he’s beaten off the dribble or coming from the help-side to cover for a teammate.

In a sense, Haliburton is everything on defense that D’Angelo Russell is not, and has the ceiling to be a similar offensive player. There’s a real argument to be made that Haliburton could fit as a starting two-guard and secondary playmaker for the Wolves from day one.