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Haliburton loves idea of playing with Steph on the Warriors

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He’s a 6-foot-5 combo guard with a preference for the point. He likes being compared to one former member of the Warriors and really likes the idea of being teammates with Steph Curry.

Iowa State star Tyrese Haliburton is the kind of prospect the Warriors have pursued for years. He’s also a potential 2020 NBA lottery pick with whom they’ve already spoken.

They like him, according to league sources.

He likes them, too, particularly if it means daily interaction with Curry.

“That would be huge,” Haliburton said Wednesday on an NBA Draft Combine Zoom call. “Steph being one of the best point guards ever play the game of basketball and probably the best shooter ever to play the game of basketball, it would be big for me to learn from him and just kind of pick his brain.

“And then take that challenge on in practice as well, because if I can stay in front of Steph and guard, I feel like I could probably guard anybody.”

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The Warriors connected with the former Iowa State star during the summer and made an impression on him. Haliburton also has met with the New York Knicks and the Detroit Pistons.

The Warriors, however, shared a direct vision of what Haliburton could become, comparing him somewhat to Shaun Livingston.

Haliburton welcomed that comp, but not all of it.

“They definitely talked about where they see my role kind of similar to his,” Haliburton recalled. “Shaun being an older dude and he could guard one-through-four at a really high level. That's something that I hope to be able to do. It’s something I’m working on for sure.

 

“But I think we do at least two different things. Shaun Livingston might be one of the best midrange jump shooters I've ever seen, (but) I think I can shoot from outside better than him. Obviously, Shaun Livingston being a great player, that's really the high praise that they think I could be someone similar to that.”

That’s what the Warriors were seeking when they selected Patrick McCaw in 2016 and again when they drafted Jacob Evans in 2018. McCaw wanted to play elsewhere, landing in Toronto. Evans was traded to Minnesota in February as part of the deal to acquire Andrew Wiggins.

The question the Warriors would have to answer before drafting Haliburton is whether they’ve satisfied that pursuit with Jordan Poole.

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Haliburton, 20, is in the top five in some mock drafts, in the top 10 in virtually all of them.  He played mostly at shooting guard as a freshman but was moved to the point -- where he spent his formative years -- as a sophomore. He says he’s comfortable with either.

“I think I facilitate better than anybody in this draft,” he said. “I think I can run a team right away. If you want me to play the two and knock down shots and defend, I think I can do that as well.”