ASSOCIATED PRESS: The Sacramento Kings selected Tyrese Haliburton with the 12th overall pick in the NBA draft Wednesday night, adding depth to a backcourt that is almost certain to undergo significant changes.
Haliburton averaged 15.2 points and 6.5 assists during his sophomore season at Iowa State. He shot better than 42% from 3-point range during his college career.
Considered one of the best guards available in the draft, the 6-foot-5 Haliburton was projected to go as high as the Top 5 but fell to the Kings, where he will join point guard De’Aaron Fox in Sacramento’s backcourt.
“It is an amazing night,” Haliburton told ESPN after being drafted. “I’m in the perfect spot. Sacramento is the perfect spot for me.”
The Kings’ 14-year playoff drought is the longest active streak in the NBA and the second-longest drought in league history. First-year Sacramento general manager Monte McNair, armed with four picks in this year’s draft, is hoping to build around Fox and Marvin Bagley III, the second overall pick in 2018.
Adding Haliburton is the first step.
While Fox will continue to lead the offense, Haliburton should help improve Sacramento’s uneven defense.