After months of waiting the 2020 NBA Draft finally took place Wednesday night.
The night for the NBA Draft started with a relatively normal, minus Phoenix shockingly taking Jalen Smith at 10. There were minimal trades and players expected to go in the top 14 got picked. But, things started to heat up in the mid-first round. Trades were occurring left and right and some players unexpectedly rose up the draft.
Conversely, some players also fell, allowing some teams to get some very good players later than expected. A lot of very good players fell to the late second round that are steals, but not ones I’m going to write about. But I do love the fit of Nico Mannion on the Warriors and Grant Riller on the Hornets. Here are my five favorite picks in terms of value
Tyrese Haliburton to the Sacramento Kings (No. 12)
Haliburton, who finished at No. 2, had a somewhat surprising fall on draft night. Potential fits like the Pistons at No. 7, Knicks at No. 8, Suns at No. 10, and Spurs at No. 11, all passed on the Iowa State sophomore.
The Kings took advantage of Haliburton’s fall and I love his fit in Sacramento. Haliburton can play a little on the ball and a little off. His transition passing ability should mix well with De’Aaron Fox and rim-runner Marvin Bagley.
In the halfcourt, Haliburton can spot up off of Fox and use that leverage to attack closeouts, which he does well. Haliburton could slide to the two, with Buddy Hield relocating to the small forward spot. When Fox sits, Haliburton can be handed the keys to the offense. He’s got shooters around him in Hield and Harrison Barnes and lob finishers in Bagley and Richaun Holmes.
The appeal in Haliburton is a genius basketball player, who lifts the floor of his team when he’s on the court. His lack of burst likely led to his downfall, but Haliburton does too many things well to not be a good NBA player. For a Kings team trying to make the playoffs, this is a pick that should help them short and long-term.