2020 Orlando Magic NBA Draft preview: Tyrese Haliburton will add dynamic offense

Iowa State guard Tyrese Haliburton is the mix of size and skill that teams look for in a point guard. (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images)
Iowa State guard Tyrese Haliburton is the mix of size and skill that teams look for in a point guard. (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images) /

The Orlando Magic are in desperate need of a more dynamic attack from their backcourt. And the big point guard Tyrese Haliburton would give them that attack.

The Orlando Magic need help on offense.

It was their Achilles’ heel in the playoffs and it is unequivocal the Milwaukee Bucks had no problem limiting what the Orlando Magic wanted to do on the offensive end in their five-game series.

They finished with the second-worst offensive rating through the first round. They had the worst talent on the offensive end in the playoffs. Orland had the worst regular-season offensive rating of any team that made the playoffs in 2020.

Not to mention, the team had one of the least formidable attacks of any playoff team in recent memory on that end of the court. Despite Nikola Vucevic’s stellar playoff run, he is not exactly an imposing offensive force.

That is why they lost the last four games of the series after pulling off an upset in Game 1. That hot shooting quite simply was not going to last. And that is a long-term problem for the Magic.

More specifically, Orlando needs some help in their backcourt with their biggest needs being somebody who can consistently score and shoot in an efficient manner. It can be either off the bench or even somebody who can supersede one of the ensconced starters. If they are versatile enough to play multiple positions, that is even better.

There are options for the Magic that fit their vision for a versatile team. Players who can handle the ball and score, shoot and dish, run and defend. It might take some moving to get up to them, but the opportunity is there to continue building the kind of dynamic offense they need.

That could very well start with targeting Iowa State point guard Tyrese Haliburton.

Haliburton took on a much bigger role in his sophomore year with the Cyclones last year and it paid dividends. He led the team in scoring, rebounds, assists and steals. He averaged 15.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game.

Not to mention, he was tops on the team in shooting from behind the arc of all players who received significant playing time throughout the year. For a team that needs shooting, he shot better than 50-percent from the field, close to 60-percent from 2-point range and better than 40-percent from behind the arc.

Compound that with the fact that he was a very impressive rebounding guard, averaged more than six assists per game and had an assist-to-turnover ratio of better than 2 to 1 and it is easy to see why he is an enticing prospect for Orlando — and for everyone in the Draft.

It is no wonder why one of the most improved players in the nation was named second team All- Big 12 and led the league in assists per game by a wide margin.

This guy should not be boxed into a label as strictly a shooting guard or a point guard either. is versatility is perhaps his greatest asset as he continues to improve.

That improvement was most evident last year.

He grew as a player this past season. No longer being relegated to just a catch and shoot guy, Haliburton proved he can be someone who can run the offense too. So he checks the box of being capable of playing either guard position.

It also helps when he has the requisite height to play either guard position at 6-foot-5. When you have the shooting touching and size of a 2-guard, but developed the skill set to play point guard, you are a potential matchup mismatch.

Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic /

Orlando Magic

Besides his height, he has long arms, is active with his feet and hands, he knows how to get deflections and steals and plays very solid defense. He also proved that he can consistently knock down mid-range shots and would be the quintessential fit in an up-tempo offense.

While the positives definitely outweigh the negatives, he is right now too skinny, weighing only 180 pounds. So, he obviously needs to get stronger to better absorb contact on both ends of the court.

And in spite of his ability as a passer, he is not the most adroit when it comes to creating offense in situations such as isolation basketball or the pick-and-roll. This will be a key skill if he wants to play point guard.

Haliburton is a high-percentage shooter, but there are some concerns about his release. He usually needs a moment to gather before going up to shoot. That could give the defense enough time to recover and contest his shot.

Also, while being proficient at the charity stripe and on mid-range attempts, he does not get a sufficient number of attempts in either regard. Those are two components of his game that he needs to improve on because he has the proclivity to rely too much on shooting from deep with almost half of his attempts from behind the arc.

Still, it is easy to discern why scouts are super excited about what he can bring to the table.

He possesses a high basketball IQ, court vision, feel for the game.  Plus, he is adroit at attacking the basket after receiving a pass and exceptional at finding open guys who are trying to knock down corner threes or rim runners.

One way or another, Haliburton is a dynamic offensive player. He can explode to the basket well and hit from the outside. He has a growing playmaking game that could make him even more deadly offensively.

For a Magic team that is desperate for creator sand scorers, Haliburton should be as high as anyone on their draft board. Especially because of his positional versatility and size.

So, the question is would it be worth it to trade up for him if he Is still available late in the lottery? I would reluctantly say yes, but I would not trade up into the top 10 for him because it’s likely going to be too high of an asking price.

Especially if you consider the fact that there will likely be some other capable guards that are hopefully available when Orlando is on the clock.

Orlando needs some backcourt help. The team certainly needs to add some point guard depth. And Haliburton is one of the best guards in the Draft.

Next. Anthony Edwards represents the uncertainty of the Draft. dark

At the very least, he will give the Magic a chance at a more dynamic offensive attack. Something the team desperately need.