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Haliburton 'laughs about' swirling Kings trade rumors

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NBA players need thick skin. They need to ignore the noise and focus on the task at hand, not rumors and innuendo. 

For young players coming into the league, it’s a new experience to hear your name mentioned in potential trade packages, which is what Kings second-year guard Tyrese Haliburton has experienced over the last few weeks.

With the Kings showing interest in Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Ben Simmons, Haliburton’s name has come up in a variety of fake trade proposals passed around the Internet, which is both flattering and unnerving at the same time. 

A report from The Athletic’s Sam Amick shut down most of the chatter regarding Haliburton’s availability, and in the latest episode of The Old Man and the Three, the 21-year-old addressed the situation directly with hosts JJ Redick and Tommy Alter. 

“I kind of just laugh about it,” Haliburton said when asked about the rumors. “I don’t really think it’s that realistic. I don’t see it happening.”

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Haliburton clarified that this was his personal feelings on the matter and not something he was strictly told by the Kings.

 

“I don’t think anyone is untouchable, by any means,” he continued. “But I don’t have time to overreact or think super deeply about it. I take care of what I can.”

This is Haliburton’s first official offseason. He hasn’t become jaded to the rumor mill, which now churns at an alarming rate and is rarely based in anything more than hypotheticals and opinions. 

The former Iowa State star is focused on having a strong summer, bulking up and improving his game in preparation for a new role and his first 82-game schedule. He was also very clear about his feelings about his current team.

“All I can do is go to the gym and workout and whatever happens, happens,” Haliburton said. “Obviously, I love Sacramento. I love being there.”

You never say never when it comes to NBA trades, but Haliburton is about as untouchable as anyone on the Kings’ roster. General manager Monte McNair took Haliburton with the his first ever draft pick running his own team, and Haliburton has dramatically outplayed his draft position.

The Kings need more players like Haliburton. He has incredible potential, his basketball IQ is off the charts and looks primed to have another big season in Sacramento. He’s part of the core the franchise hopes to build around and it’s very likely he’s a King for a long time.