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Sacramento Kings Select Tyrese Haliburton With The 12th Pick In The 2020 NBA Draft

(Photo by David K Purdy/Getty Images)

The talented guard will join the Sacramento backcourt for the 2020-21 season

After months of speculation and rumors, the Sacramento Kings have selected standout guard Tyrese Haliburton out of Iowa State with the 12th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Haliburton, who was second-team All-Big 10 in 2019-20, was projected by ESPN to go 7th and was predicted to go as high as sixth by CBS Sports. The NBA Draft site Tankathon had Hailburton going fourth to Chicago in their latest mock draft.

The 20-year-old sophomore averaged 15.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 2.5 steals per game while shooting 50-percent from the field and 41-percent from the three-point line.

The fact that Haliburton fell to Sacramento has been seen as a massive win for the franchise, with ESPN’s Bobby Marks stating on the air that “the Kings are winning the night so far.” On Thursday morning, ESPN.com gave Sacramento a grade of “A” for its performance on draft night.

New Kings general manager Monte McNair shared that he was enthused to have Haliburton join the roster, claiming that he was the best player available when the Sacramento was on the clock.

“It was just about the best player available. It always will be,” McNair said during a media session after the draft. “We’re happy that he fits the style of play we want, but first and foremost he was the best talent available to us and we don’t pass up talent.”

Hailburton will join the Kings and presumably play a lot of minutes next to budding star De’Aaron Fox, giving the speedy floor-general another long-range threat on the roster.

With the impending departure of Bogdan Bogdanovic hovering over the franchise, bringing in a talent like Haliburton can ease the transition of losing the 28-year-old guard. With free-agency set to begin on Friday, expect Bogdanovic to sign an offer-sheet with another team, prompting Sacramento to either workout a sign-and-trade deal or let him walk.

It is unknown why Haliburton fell to the 12th slot, but the Sacramento Kings will take their chances on the young guard.

Haliburton shared his enthusiasm after putting on his Kings cap, stating that he’s ready to make some changes in the California capital city.

“Sacramento is the perfect spot for me… I’m ready to get to work right away, he said.”

Right away, indeed. Training camps will open up on December 1st, just two weeks away as the December 22nd regular-season start date gets closer by the day.