Opinion: Why Tyrese Haliburton to the Knicks makes sense

Tyrese NBA Draft Analysis series design

Stephen Mcdaniel

Editor’s note: Over the next five weeks, the Iowa State Daily sports editors will be doing a series of why every team that has a top 10 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft makes sense for Tyrese Haliburton and why he would want to play with them.

The New York Knicks are a team that has been stuck in the rebuilding phase since striking out on landing Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant during the 2019 free agency period.

That being said, the Knicks already have a couple of solid, young pieces on their roster, including forward Julius Randle, who is coming off one of his best seasons in the NBA, RJ Barrett, the 20-year-old rookie that averaged 14.3 points after being selected No. 3 in the 2019 NBA Draft and Mitchell Robinson, a 21-year-old up-and-coming center that’s shown promise.

One position the Knicks are still desperately in need of is a point guard, which is where Tyrese Haliburton could potentially come in at with New York’s No. 8 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Mock Draft.

Why the Knicks want Tyrese

The Knicks have three main point guards on their roster: Elfrid Payton, Frank Ntilikina and Dennis Smith Jr.

The issue for New York is that none of these three options are really getting it done.

Out of the three, Payton has done the most for New York, being its starting point guard for the 2019-20 season. In Payton’s 27.7 minutes per game, he only averaged 10 points per game and 7.2 assists per game, while only shooting just over 20 percent from the 3-point line.

Payton is set to become a free agent very soon for the Knicks and his stat line isn’t anything special that the Knicks can’t replace with a cheaper option, or in this case, a draft prospect that has more upside and can offer a similar, if not better, stat line along with a much better shooting percentage.

Haliburton’s sophomore year at Iowa State saw him average 15.2 points per game and 6.5 assists per game while shooting just over 42 percent from three and just over 50 percent from the field.

The Knicks could try to go with Ntilikina or Smith Jr. if they don’t bring back Payton once he hits free agency, but Ntilikina and Smith Jr. have really been able to serve as role players in their time with New York.

If Haliburton is on the board at No. 8, the Knicks could have the opportunity to get the young point guard they’ve needed.

Why Tyrese wants the Knicks

There’s one big reason why Tyrese should want to go to New York: It’s the best place to let him shine.

As we’ve established, the Knicks’ point guard rotation isn’t anything special and I think Haliburton could easily come in as a rookie and provide them the spark they need at point guard, whether it be his playmaking ability or his ability to knock down shots from beyond the arc.

Despite having some recent struggles, the Knicks still remain the largest NBA market across the league, with the Knicks being valued at $4.6 billion.

If I’m Haliburton, why wouldn’t I want to go to a team where I’ll be able to come in and make an immediate impact with a team that will guarantee some of the highest exposure in the NBA?

Unlike some of the other teams that found themselves inside the top 10 for the NBA Draft, like the Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves and Atlanta Hawks, who have already found or have had their No. 1 and No. 2 options, the Knicks provide Haliburton with a chance to come in and already be one of their top options.

In my eyes, the Knicks can get the point guard they’ve needed and Haliburton can find the team that will really let him showcase what he’s capable of right away.