Did Haliburton, agent engineer draft-day tumble to Kings? originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
De’Aaron Fox wanted to be a member of the Kings. He made it clear during the 2017 NBA Draft process that the Kings were the spot for him, and when Sacramento was on the board at pick No. 5, they selected the speedy guard out of Kentucky.
According to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, Tyrese Haliburton, whom the Kings selected Wednesday with the No. 12 overall pick, might have made the same determination and with the help from his agent, he made it happen.
“He could have gone six, I think, had he wanted to,” Givony said on the latest edition of the Lowe Post podcast with Zach Lowe. “But he was open to, ‘Let me sacrifice 7-8 million dollars because I think it’s going to work out in the long run for me in Sacramento.’”
Adding to the story, Givony said that Haliburton’s agents were extremely selective as to who they shared his medical information with. The Iowa State guard missed the last portion of the NCAA season with a broken wrist, which has now since healed.
“A lot of this was by design,” Givony said. “The consistent theme that I kept hearing in the pre-draft process was, “I hate the teams that are drafting in the top 10. I don’t want my guy with any of those franchises.' ”
According to the conversation with Lowe, the Dallas Mavericks tried to move up to pick No. 8 and select Haliburton, but the Knicks waited to see if Obi Toppin would fall to them and he did.
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At the end of the day, every draft has an interesting story attached to it. There have been plenty of times over the years when agents hid their clients from the Kings and worked to keep their players out of Sacramento.
Maybe this time the allure of playing alongside Fox in an up tempo system and with a new regime in Sacramento played a role in the Kings landing a big-time player in the draft.