Iowa State Cyclones
20.1 Years Old
By Max Feldman
- Instinctual decision making, High IQ
- Efficiency at all three levels
- Heady and patient in transition
- Measurements as a lead ball handler
- Fluidity and body control
- Leadership; Controlled flare
- Wiry frame
- Lack of wins
- Quirky shot release
- Shot creation
The Iowa State sophomore improved massively from his freshman campaign where he showed flashes into this season where he became a star which was eventually ended by a season ending wrist injury.
As an NBA prospect, Haliburton is a unique case. He is a playmaker, but not a shot creator. As a lead guard, he does not excel at creating his own shot, rarely shoots on pull ups, does not post up smaller guards and is not a shooter coming off of screen. At 6-5 and 175 pounds, Haliburton thrives while running in transition using strong vision to feather outlet passes over defenders to big men, draw defenders and kick to shooters and use his length to finish at the rim. His efficiency numbers stick out as a decision maker showing potential as a 50-40-90 guy at the next level. He’s a stat sheet stuffer in every category showing signs of a less athletic but better shooting Lonzo Ball. Haliburton uses both hands to whip passes to cutters and is incredibly heady when searching for mismatches. He uses variety of shovel passes and dump offs are the result of ball fakes and subtle head fakes to fool defenders. Primarily on ball at Iowa State, Haliburton show signs of combo guard skills ranking in the 99th percentile in spot up shooting efficiency, the 98th percentile in catch and shoot situations, and 86th percentile in half court shooting scenarios. A quirky shot motion served as no harm to his number at the collegiate level, and should not be a concern outside of his ability to shoot pull up jumpers.
Defensively, Haliburton’s performance and numbers are of concern. 2.5 steals per game last season seem promising, but was rated in the 26th percentile or lower in each defensive category outside of isolation defending, where an 86th percentile rating serve as some promise at the next level.
Haliburton is bound for the lottery and the versatility of his game allows him to be a fit in a number of scenarios. In need of a NBA strength program, Haliburton has a strong floor to ceiling ratio. He has showed signs of rapid development, and is an NBA starter at the 1 or 2 spots with the ceiling of a borderline All-Star as a long, heady and overall creative playmaker.