Tyrese Haliburton was almost drafted to the Mavericks in 2020


Currently, the Dallas Mavericks have the elite back-court pairing of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. They only played a small sample size of games last season and the two all-star’s still need to build chemistry. Dallas’ owner Mark Cuban recently shared that the Mavs almost drafted a different all-star in 2020. If that happened, Kyrie Irving would likely not be on the team right now. They tried trading up for Tyrese Haliburton in the 2020 Draft but weren’t able to get the 23-year-old. 

Haliburton went 12th overall to the Sacramento Kings. Dallas had the 18th overall pick and ended up taking Josh Green. The two players have had very different career trajectories three years into their careers. Haliburton was a first-time all-star last season averaging (20.7) points, (10.4) rebounds, and (1.6) assists per game.

Josh Green shot (.402) percent from deep in the 2022-23 season and averaged (9.1) points per game. Haliburton is arguably the best player on his team. Green is maybe the fifth or sixth best. Dallas would have loved to have drafted Tyrese Haliburton in 2020, but it just wasn’t meant to be.

Tyrese Haliburton was being targeted by the Mavericks back in the 2020 NBA Draft

At the time of the 2020 NBA Draft, Rick Carlise was still the head coach of the Dallas Mavericks. The following season, he was the Pacers’ head coach. Dallas tried targeting Tyrese Haliburton in the 2020 Draft and Carlise was well aware of that plan. In his first big move with Indiana, the Pacers traded for Tyrese Haliburton at the 2021-22 deadline.

Since then, Haliburton has become one of the brightest young PGs in the NBA. Mark Cuban gave his recounts of the story on Barstool Sports’ Pat Bev Podcast. He joked with hosts Patrick Beverley and Adam Ferrone that Carlise knew what he was doing in that situation. There were no hard feelings between Cuban and the Pacers. As a businessman, Cuban knows that’s part of the game.

What if the Mavs were able to draft Haliburton in 2020? The Mavericks would still likely have one of the best back-court pairings in the NBA, but you never know if Haliburotn would be the same player. He controls the offense for the Pacers and always has the ball in his hands. Haliburton averaged 20 and 10 last season. That doesn’t happen by accident. If he was Luka Doncic’s teammate for the last three seasons, there’s no guarantee of the success they have. Mavericks fans can only daydream about Tyrese Haliburton playing for Dallas.

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