With Reggie Jackson, Bruce Brown, and Jordan Bone off the roster – leaving Derrick Rose as the lone point guard on the roster – it’s obvious that the Detroit Pistons have a need a point guard. With the possibility that Detroit may move Rose during this year’s draft as well, the need becomes even more evident. With the constantly changing draft stock of LaMelo Ball, there are seemingly three realistic options at point guard for the Pistons in this year’s draft – Ball, Killian Hayes, and Tyrese Haliburton.
While Ball and Hayes have become the fan-favorite options, there’s no reason to think Haliburton isn’t just as good of an option for the Pistons in the first round. Haliburton spent two years with the Iowa State Cyclones, starting all but one of his 57 collegiate games. Despite his 2019-20 campaign being cut short due to a fractured wrist, Haliburton experienced massive statistical jumps across the board compared to his freshman year. In 22 games this season, Haliburton averaged 15.2 points (up from 6.8 in 2018-19), 6.5 assists (up from 3.6), 5.9 rebounds (up from 3.4), and 2.5 steals (up from 1.5) per game. While these numbers are impressive for a point guard by themselves, Haliburton’s elite efficiency is a huge factor in separating him from his peers. Haliburton shot above 50 percent (50.4 percent in 2019-20) from the field and 40 percent from three (41.9 percent in 2019-20) during both of his collegiate seasons, as well as being above 80 percent from the free-throw line.
Haliburton is the true do-it-all point guard in this year’s draft, making him an exciting option for new general manager Troy Weaver as the Pistons look for an influx of young talent that the franchise has lacked for years at the position. While his shooting form is unorthodox, the sophomore standout still finished with elite efficiency on increased volume from his freshman year, an encouraging sign of what could be coming as he makes the jump to the NBA. Haliburton isn’t nearly as aggressive creating for himself behind the arc, but has shown glimpses as a creator from the mid-range – still a valuable skill, despite the shot’s steady decrease in usage. Even while being a more than a serviceable shooter, Haliburton has proven to be a crafty and reliable finisher around the rim in both the halfcourt offense and on the fastbreak, an impressive asset that keeps defenses guessing.
Offense isn’t the only strength for Haliburton, however. With a lanky 6-foot-5 frame that has filled out a bit during his collegiate career paired with a 6-foot-8 wingspan, Haliburton has the physical tools to wreak havoc on opposing guards at the next level. Adding in his quick hands that allowed him to wreak in the passing lanes en route to averaging over two steals per game, and Haliburton’s defensive profile looks almost as good as his offensive.
In this draft, there is no surefire, can’t miss prospect, meaning the Pistons will have a few intriguing options despite only having the seventh pick. With Detroit’s point guard corps even more in shambles after trading Bruce Brown and deciding not to bring back Jordan Bone, plenty of signs point to the franchise taking a stab at bringing in their next potential point guard of the future. At only 20 years old and equipped with a plethora of attributes that every NBA team could use, Tyrese Haliburton could very well be the pick for Detroit – if he falls to seven.