Tyrese Haliburton Scouting Report – Atlanta Hawks NBA Draft Prospect

Tyrese Haliburton full scouting report. How would he fit on the Atlanta Hawks?

The 2020 NBA Draft is very point guard heavy, with likely four going in the lottery alone. That gives the Atlanta Hawks many options if they want to find Trae Young‘s long term backup this October.

One player they should take a long look at is Tyrese Haliburton, the sophomore guard from Iowa State that has impressive tape on both ends of the floor. Here we have a full scouting report for Haliburton, showcasing his strengths, weaknesses, and potential fit with the Atlanta Hawks.

Haliburton’s Strengths:

Size

Haliburton is a true point guard at 6-foot-5, which is perfect for the modern NBA. It allows him to match up well on D while giving him the ability to crash the boards on both ends. He averaged 5.9 rebounds per game as a sophomore.

His 6’8 wingspan also comes in handy on offense, with the guard easily able to pass and shoot over shorter opponents. Long arms aren’t a detriment to his handle and his long strides give him flexibility in transition.

Playmaking

He looks like a seasoned NBA vet when it comes to passing: smart, reactive, and inventive. He’s able to make highlight-worthy dimes look easy out of any set. Haliburton rarely throws an inaccurate pass even in transition and can use both hands to kick the ball out.

Haliburton’s eyes are always scanning the court, looking for the open man even after the play breaks down. He’s fantastic passing out of a natural body position, whether that be falling down, off-balance, in the air, or out of a shot.

Sniper

It’s hard to say much about a weird-looking jumper if it goes in often, and Tyrese Haliburton may be the prime example of that. His hands start below the chest on shots and he catapults the ball up to the rim.

It’s not a shot you’d want to show young kids for them to replicate, but you can’t argue with the output. Haliburton shot 42 percent from three on 5.6 attempts per game last year. His shot is a bit too slow to be utilized in small/quick windows, but he should be a great catch-and-shoot guy in the NBA.

Defensive IQ

Haliburton may not have the natural tools to be an elite defender (which we’ll get to), but his overall feel for the game doesn’t stop on the offensive end. It was hard to find many defensive possessions of Haliburton being out of position, and he’s a smart team defender, rotating and fighting through off-ball screens while keeping an eye on both his man and the ball.

Haliburton’s Weaknesses:

Close-outs/Recovery defense

Haliburton – checking in at 175 pounds – can get caught up in screens on occasion and his recovery needs improvement. He’s prone to flying past guys after a simple pump-fake, and even when both feet stay on the ground, he can over-commit, leading to fouls and easy drive-bys.

Athleticism

Haliburton is not a freak athlete like many players drafted in the top-ten usually are. In fact, Haliburton isn’t that great of an athlete at all, and that lack of pop shows up on both ends. On offense, he’s limited as a shot-creator, doesn’t get much separation on pull-ups or step-back attempts.

Defensively, he can be stiff in one-on-one scenarios and has issues catching up from behind if beat off the bounce.

Inside scoring

Haliburton doesn’t just shy away from contact, he goes well out of his way to avoid it, heavily downgrading his interior scoring grades. He has a great touch around the rim naturally, but he changes nearly everything about his shot to avoid taking a hit.

He took a total of 71 free throws in his 56 collegiate games – nearly 2000 minutes – incredibly low for someone who had the ball in his hands as much as he did. Haliburton does have a solid floater/runner from the top of the key, which should translate nicely.

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Film Session:

Full game versus Auburn (1/25/20)

Notes:

  • 2:28 – Great, smart, and tough bounce pass in traffic for an easy score.
  • 7:53 – Good fast-break defense, forcing a jump ball on what very easily could have been a foul-inducing jab.
  • 12:17 – Slow reaction by Haliburton on the switch, gets beat easily and his jumping contest was far too early.
  • 18:48 – He leaves his man way too open, although his closeout was good.
  • 28:35 – Unneccsary help defense for a teammate that wasn’t beat. Leads to Haliburton’s man being open.
  • 32:24 – Beautiful cross-court pass to an open man in the corner. Great instincts to even see that he was open and accuracy to make that pass with defenders all over him.
  • 44:20 – Good example of what I touched on earlier. Haliburton makes a clean, crisp pass with both feet off the ground.
  • 44:41 – Haliburton skies for a block. Great use of his hops and lanky arms.
  • 55:34 – effortless touchdown pass to a cherry-picking teammate for an easy bucket.
  • 59:13 – Bad possession of one-on-one D for Haliburton. Watch his feet as his opponent drives – he’s flat-footed and leaning backward. Not good and tops it off with a foul.
  • 1:09:14 – Pretty good separation off a step-back but his slow release allows the defender to catch back up. Haliburton stills hits it.
  • 1:14:39 – Another good example of his long arms coming in handy. Makes what looked to be an easy pass into a steal.
  • 1:20:46 – Huge block in a key moment, using every inch of his wingspan to swat it from behind.
  • 1:21:54 – More clutch defense, tipping a pass to give his team a chance late.

Highlights from a matchup with fellow lottery-hopeful Kira Lewis Jr.

Notes:

  • 0:15 – Haliburton (with all of his teammates) caught ball-watching in the paint, leads to open three.
  • 0:34 – Just an awful jumping contest attempt; goes flying and gives up an easy look.
  • 0:39 – Impressive stretch of interior defense from the point guard: blocks the shot of a center and blocks another from the offensive rebounder.
  • 1:39 – Tries to go up and under instead of straight-through contact.
  • 2:48 – Good showing of that soft-touch floater. He does catapult it a bit like his shot, but it still looks fine/sinks.
  • 4:03 – Haliburton delivers a flashy pass in transition that would make Magic Johnson proud.
  • 4:35 – Offensive tip-in for the 6’5 point guard.
  • 5:14 A “Taste of your own medicine” three for Haliburton, who pump fakes the defender into the front row.

Fit With Atlanta Hawks:

The Atlanta Hawks need defensive help, badly. Haliburton can step in and help defensively, but he’s not the type of player that will turn their entire unit around on D. Atlanta might want someone more polished on that end – especially with a top-ten pick.

He is a terrific passer that would make a very fun fit next to Trae Young. Bigs John Collins and Clint Capela would love his soft lobs and his drive-and-kick style would give the Hawks’ offense a new flair.

The Bottom Line:

In my eyes, Haliburton is one of the most pro-ready players in this year’s draft. He’s smart, driven, and can do just about everything on the court. Even his weaknesses are more minor flaws than huge detriments.

His NBA ceiling may not be as high as others picked around the same place as him, but Haliburton should be able to contribute at a high level right off the bat.

Next: Tre Jones Scouting Report

Should the Atlanta Hawks draft Tyrese Haliburton?