I’ve Seen Enough: Start Tyrese Haliburton
As of yesterday, Tyrese Haliburton leads all rookies in offensive rating.
Does that surprise you at all?
As of yesterday, Tyrese Haliburton leads THE ENTIRE NBA in offensive rating.
Bet that surprised you (By the way Richaun Holmes is 7th).
So I’ve seen enough.
The Sacramento Kings are a better team when Tyrese Haliburton is on the floor. Full stop.
I understand he’s 6 games into his career, and I also understand it’s not who starts, it’s who finishes. I get that.
If the Kings were a playoff team contending for a title, I’d get it more. Like when Rick Adelman stubbornly kept Peja Stojakovic on the bench in favor of Corliss Williamson. Totally understand.
But just like you draft “best player available” regardless of position on a bad team, you should also PLAY the best player available. This isn’t a Manu Ginobili situation, the Kings aren’t the Spurs (yet).
What I DO know is that the Kings arent winning a title this year, and likely won’t make the playoffs. You might disagree, but I’m correct. So for me, the priorities for the season go in this order:
1. Figure out who our core is
2. Play them and get them real experience and development against first team defenses
3. Win ballgames
That’s the order.
So now, who do you sit? Let’s go with the three possible candidates:
- De’Aaron Fox
Hmm. After further analysis I have concluded with a big fat LOL NO
- Buddy Hield
The obvious choice. He has struggled so far offensively, and the team was better as a whole when he came off the bench last year.
His offense will improve, and I’m liking his enhanced effort on the defensive end. Plus, we need to see if he can be a part of the long term plan, while also showcasing him for trade value (which would easily solve the start/sit Tyrese issue).
Benching Buddy only reduces the ability to showcase him, while also losing his outside shooting which the team desperately needs.
- That leaves…..
- Harrison Barnes
I know right? No way! You could make the argument that Barnes has been the best Kings player overall this year, and by the way he’s an even better human than player (not that it should matter, but I love the guy). Putting Barnes in the second unit might even cost the team a win or two in the long run.
But it’s the right move. Most think Buddy is the most likely to be traded this year, for good reason- but I actually think it’s Barnes. He’s making 20 per year, and doesn’t exactly fit the timeline. Maybe he’s the 3 this team will have long term, but I doubt it.
And Harrison Barnes won’t grumble. That matters. He’s a pro’s pro. He can provide solid, veteran leadership to the second unit, and along with Bjelica offer an offensive spark. Plus, there’s nothing saying he still wouldn’t bust 30 minutes a game, especially against certain matchups.
I live Harrison, he’s played his tail off, but this is Tyrese Haliburton’s world now. He’s the future.
If you noticed a flaw in my argument, you’re correct.
- How is Harrison not on the “timeline” when he and Buddy are the same age, and how does Buddy need to start to be showcased when I think Barnes is most likely to be traded??
- I got you.
1. Buddy is the defending champion at shooting threes, a skill that dominates the NBA right now. Harrison may have more depth in his arsenal, but Buddy has a big giant bazooka.
2. As far as sitting vs trade value, I don’t think Barnes has the value Buddy does. Benching him won’t make a huge difference, because the team acquiring him is likely making a cash move as much as anything else. Harrison has a big contract, but at his age and ability to contribute, it’s not a poison pill.
Maybe the timeline was shorter than we thought, but I’ve seen enough–
Tyrese Haliburton needs to start.