[Quotable]: ESPN’s Jonathan Givony on Haliburton Pressuring Lottery Teams Not to Pick Him (Updated 6/1/2021)

I’m seeing a lot of frustrated fans asking ‘why didn’t WE draft Tyrese Haliburton?!” but they don’t seem to understand how his agent warned lottery teams NOT to pick him so he could end up in Sacramento. I think the reporting from Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) on this episode of the Lowe Post podcast may have slipped through the cracks on a lot of post-draft analysis by fans and writers alike:

People are like, how did Haliburton fall so far?!… a lot of this was by design. The consistent theme that I kept hearing in the pre-draft process from agents was, “I hate the teams that are drafting in the top 10. I don’t want my guys with any of those franchises.” And so, they were very selective with who got medicals and they were openly telling teams, “don’t take my guy, please.” So I think, that is a big reason why Haliburton ended up going 12. He… he could have gone 6, I think, had he wanted to, but he was open to, you know, “let me sacrifice $7, 8 million because I think it’s going to end up working out in the long term with Sacramento”… and Zach, how many times can you say a player wants to go to Sacramento?! It’s incredible!!”

Update: 6/1/2021

Sam Amick from The Athletic had a great interview with Haliburton where, true or not, he tries to clear the air about the aforementioned rumors on draft day and how he ended up in Sacto, strongly denying any possibility of him strong arming lottery teams so that he ended up a King:

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