It’s not often you see a rookie walk into the NBA and instantly look like they belong. That is exactly what the Kings’ Tyrese Haliburton has done this season.
Mature beyond his years, the 21-year-old is in the running for the NBA’s Rookie of the Year trophy all year long. In the Kings’ 111-99 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, Haliburton took a bad step and tweaked his left knee.
Haliburton stayed down for a few minutes before being helped to the locker room. On Monday, the rookie went in for an MRI on the knee. As the team prepared to take on the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday, head coach Luke Walton gave an update, but no real information.
"We're very optimistic still with Tyrese, we're working with multiple professionals as far as getting all of the opinions together and we have a whole group of our medical staff just making sure that all the information that's given out is correct," Walton said. "We are optimistic and when they get that information, they will share it."
Normally updates on injuries take hours, not days. While Haliburton has been officially ruled out against the Thunder, there is no word on if this is the last we've seen of the Kings' first-round pick. He is currently still with the team and has not been sent back to Sacramento.
"We're not hiding anything," Walton said. "Whenever that information all comes in and the powers that be communicate it out, that information will be sent to [the media]."
In 59 games this season, Haliburton is averaging 13 points, 5.3 assists and 1.3 steals in 30 minutes per game. He’s started a total of 20 games, including the last five with starting point guard De’Aaron Fox in the league’s Health and Safety protocols.
Walton had no further update on Fox either during pregame, only to say that he won't be joining the team on the current road trip that ends Wednesday in Indiana.
With Haliburton out of action and Fox still away from the team, Walton will turn to veteran Delon Wright to fill some of the void and it opens up a few minutes for two-way guard Kyle Guy.
"He's QB 1 right now, so we'll prep him accordingly and we'll see where we are moving forward in these final eight games," Walton said of Wright.
The Kings have played shorthanded for the last two weeks and it won’t get any easier down the stretch, especially if Haliburton's promising rookie year is over. There could come a point where they get everyone healthy for one last hurrah, but at this point, that seems unlikely.