Over the past few weeks, Sacramento Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton has been linked to the Philadelphia 76ers in trade talks surrounding Ben Simmons. However, according to reports, the Kings ended discussions with the 76ers.
If Philly fans and maybe even Daryl Morey had any doubts about Haliburton, that might have been put to rest Saturday night at Wells Fargo Center.
Haliburton scored a career-high 38 points (11-19 FG, 5-9 3FG, 11-12 FT) to go along with game-high-tying seven assists. Haliburton scored the final 14 points for the Kings, but they would fall short when Harrison Barnes missed a three at the buzzer as the 76ers defeated Sacramento 103-101.
76ers F Danny Green was impressed by what he saw from the 21-year-old Haliburton.
“Woo! I think that describes enough of it right there,” Green, who scored 11 points off the bench, said postgame. “That side-step, step back fadeaway over the backboard in the corner, I thought that was, for sure, gonna come off hard. It didn’t touch anything but the net, and that kind of shows the night he [Tyrese Haliburton] had. He was getting the free-throw line a lot, though. He was very active; he was getting to the paint. He made some adjustments. But the fact that he was getting downhill and getting to his floater opened up the game a lot for him and them. So, we tried to get him off the free-throw line, but when he started hitting the three-ball, he had a good rhythm. He kept them in the game.”
Kings head coach Alvin Gentry added on Haliburton: “Well, you know, I think he’s progressing every day from the standpoint of getting better, learning more… just doing the things that he needs to do to show improvement and stuff. I was happy with his game, very happy.”
Haliburton has struggled in the past two games, where he combined for 18 points, and while he was happy to break out, he does not want to get too high or too low.
“I’m just learning every night, through the good and bad. Obviously, last two games, I’ve been awful,” Haliburton said. “Tonight, I was pretty good, but you know, just not getting too high, not getting too low, it’s the NBA, it’s 82 games, it’s a grind, and you’re really going to mess yourself up mentally if every time you’re playing well you get too high and every time you are playing bad you get too low so for me, I’m just trying to stay even keel, stay mellow and just come to work every day and be ready to compete and I think tonight obviously I played pretty well, but I think that the guys around me put me in a position to succeed so just keep going from there.”
Haliburton has a ton of talent; he might be a guy the Kings make untouchable in any trade talks and use as a building block going forward. However, he sure made an impression on the Philly fans Saturday night.