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Haliburton comes up short in bid for Rookie of the Year

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The results are in, and Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton came up short in his bid for NBA Rookie of the Year.

The former Iowa State star finished third in the balloting behind Charlotte Hornets point guard LaMelo Ball and Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards.

Ball won in a landslide, while Haliburton received no first-place votes, nine second-place votes and 87 third-place votes.

Haliburton got off to a fast start, winning back-to-back Western Conference Rookie of the Month awards for December/January and February. But he ran into a bit of a rookie wall in March, which hurt his chances.

The 21-year-old played extremely well late in the season, posting 17 points, 8.2 assists and 1.6 steals in his final five games as a starter before injuring his left knee and sitting out the Kings’ final eight contests. 

Overall, Haliburton has been a breath of fresh air for the Kings. Selected with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, he is considered a starter moving forward for Sacramento and he has tremendous upside as both a scorer and distributor.

On the season, Haliburton averaged 13 points, 5.3 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 30.1 minutes per game for the Kings. He shot an impressive 47 percent from the field and 40.9 percent from 3-point range in his first season as a pro.

RELATED: Grading Haliburton's breakout rookie season with Kings

Earlier this week, Haliburton confirmed that he was 100 percent healthy after being diagnosed with a hyperextension and bone bruise in his left knee. He also underwent Lasik surgery with the hopes of improving his vision and moving away from contact lenses.

 

Despite coming up short in the Rookie of the Year balloting, Haliburton looks like another building block for the Kings moving forward. His basketball IQ is off the charts and his future looks extremely bright.