Rookie Rankings Round-Up: 2.9.21
Tyrese Haliburton continues his stellar rookie season, now having earned Western Conference Rookie of the Month honors.
No. 0 is coming off a historic game against Denver — dropping 23 points and six assists on a 65+ field goal percentage, the first Kings rookie to accomplish that since Tyreke Evans.
No. 0 is also performing in the clutch, playing the fourth most fourth quarter minutes in the league (9.6) and carrying the second-highest shooting clip from three (62.9) in the final frame.
A 20-year-old rookie with a rare veteran savvy, Haliburton continues to impress on and off the floor as the season progresses.
Here's where the NBA world ranks Sacramento's rookie amongst his fellow draftees:
NBA.com — 2
Considering how much praise Haliburton has earned for his steady, veteran-like-beyond-his-years play for Sacramento, he has had his share of highlight moments, too. Sure, he has scored in double figures 13 times in 18 games and led the Kings in assists six times, with one points-assists double-double. But he scored 15 points in the fourth quarter against Chicago Jan. 6. Haliburton has shown a knack for hitting big shots late, whether inside or (way) outside the arc. He is averaging 1.4 steals for every 36 minutes played, which is appropriate for the steal of the 2020 Draft so far.
HoopsHype — 2
The former Iowa State star is able to make a difference even without the offense running through him, considering that his assist-to-usage rate (1.49) is currently the best in the NBA among wings, per Cleaning the Glass.
Haliburton also has the second-most assists (98) and the second-most three-pointers (36) among rookies. His block percentage and steal percentage are both above average for his position as well. As he continues his career, the 20-year-old looking like a promising 3-and-D wing with a stellar secondary playmaking skill set.
NBC Sports — 1
The consensus steal of the draft in the moment is looking like even more of a heist two months later. Haliburton is a joy to watch. The lanky, smooth-handling lead guard reads the floor like a 10-year vet and his aptitude in big moments belies his experience level.
CBS Sports — 8
I'm going to keep saying this probably until the end of Haliburton's career, but every other team who drafted ahead of the Kings is idiotic for not taking this kid. He's doing far more than most other rookies in his class and he's still coming off the bench, and the league took notice by awarding him with Rookie of the Month honors in the West. Remember the top two picks in his draft class are also in the Western Conference, and Haliburton has been outperforming both of them.
Rookie Wire — 6
Haliburton, who was named the Western Conference Rookie of the Month, has cooled off from his hot start, but he has managed to impact games in other ways. He is shooting just 38.7% from the field, and 27% from 3-point range, but is still averaging 9.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.7 assists over his last six games. Despite his shooting falling off, he recently earned praise from head coach Luke Walton for his clutch gene in a win over the Raptors.