Head to Head: Where will Tyrese Haliburton go in the NBA Draft?

Iowa State Daily Sports Editors (left to right) Stephen McDaniel, Zane Douglas and Matt Belinson go “Head to Head to Head” and debate which of the three fan capacity options Iowa State should choose this fall.

It’s the question every Iowa State fan wants to know: when will Tyrese Haliburton be picked in the 2020 NBA Draft?

Short answer: We won’t know until 7 p.m. Wednesday on ESPN.

But fans and media alike have been waiting since Haliburton declared for the NBA Draft back in March. So as draft night arrives, why not throw more predictions into the mix?

The Iowa State Daily sports editors did just that and decided to go “Head to Head (to Head)” and predict where Haliburton will be selected on draft night.

Belinson: Atlanta Hawks

I think Atlanta with the No. 6 overall pick will be the landing spot for Tyrese in this draft.

The Hawks can throw him into so many different roles, it would not be shocking to me if they take Haliburton on Wednesday.

The Hawks need a backup point guard behind their young star in Trae Young. The Hawks need a second scoring threat alongside Young. 

Haliburton can be that guy.

Pairing him with Young in the Atlanta backcourt would be so fun to watch, and I think having a shooter who can space the floor and allow for John Collins or De’Andre Hunter to get one-on-one matchups inside is a perfect combination to get if you’re Atlanta. 

Atlanta will end up getting a best-of-both-worlds type of player with Haliburton, who can play off-ball with Young and wait to be lights-out on catch and shoot jumpers like he did in college. If they don’t put him on the court with Young, he can easily be the leading scorer off the bench and play backup minutes to Young as he develops.

I think Atlanta will have a similar scouting report and will pull the trigger on the Oshkosh, Wisconsin, native with the No. 6 pick. 

Douglas: Minnesota Timberwolves

No, Haliburton will not go No. 1 overall.

Instead, it seems pretty likely the Minnesota Timberwolves will find themselves picking somewhere in the middle of the top 10, with reports around the team indicating a possibility for a trade down, or a trade up from their No. 1 and No. 17 picks, respectively.

The Wolves will take one of these avenues and look to either stack draft capital or move up into the top 10 again to grab someone they’re eyeing as draft day inches closer.

Haliburton fits that narrative as the Wolves are rumored to have their eyes on him, even with picks that don’t line up with his value at the top of the draft.

Minnesota will find a way to squeeze Haliburton into its plans.

McDaniel: Golden State Warriors

Maybe this sounds all too familiar, but no, Haliburton will not go No. 2 overall either.

For me, I just don’t see Minnesota OR Golden State staying in the top 2, but if either team would keep its pick, I’d see it being Minnesota. Unlike the Timberwolves, the Warriors aren’t in dying need of talent to surround their superstars.

When Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson come back fully healthy, the small ball Warriors will be right back in NBA Finals contention in the Western Conference, especially if Houston loses out on Russell Westbrook AND James Harden.

Some of the concerns with Haliburton is his size and slow shot release; however, simply playing alongside Curry and Thompson nearly negates those concerns.

Teams will be forced to focus heavily on either Curry or Thompson, which would relieve any pressure off of Haliburton, who will be able to knock down a shot or pass the ball to someone who can.

I think the Warriors will trade down with another team that needs the No. 2 overall pick more, and they’ll use their new pick to snag Haliburton.