Cuban says Mavericks did “everything we could” to trade up and draft Tyrese Haliburton

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USA v Jordan: Group C - FIBA Basketball World Cup

USA v Jordan: Group C – FIBA Basketball World Cup

Tyrese Haliburton is having a breakout World Cup for Team USA. He, along with Austin Reaves, has been a spark off the bench for the Americans and a big part of their undefeated record to this point. Although maybe calling it a breakout for Haliburton is unfair, he was an All-Star last season who got serious All-NBA consideration (at least on my ballot), just not a lot of people saw a banged up and struggling Pacers team rarely seen on national television.

Rick Carlisle saw it coming, and the then coach of the Dallas Mavericks pushed the organization hard to move up and draft him, something that has been reported before and Mark Cuban confirmed on the Pat Bev Pod (the Patrick Beverley Podcast).

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What’s amazing is the offer Dallas made to New York to try and get their No. 8 pick in 2020 (via ESPN’s Tim MacMahon): Jalen Brunson, the No. 18 overall pick (which became Josh Green) and the No. 31 pick (Tyrell Terry). New York was unmoved and used the No. 8 pick to draft Obi Toppin, while Haliburton fell to the Kings at No. 12 (a couple of years later they traded him to Indiana for Domantas Sabonis). Now, three years on, Brunson is a Knick (and a teammate of Haliburton for USA Basketball at the World Cup), while Toppin is in Indiana next season with Haliburton and Carlisle.

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Expect to hear a lot of Haliburton love this season.

Haliburton and the Pacers are an overlooked team coming into next season (as evidence, they have one TNT/ESPN national television game all season). Winning just 35 games the season before and missing even the play-in will do that. However, before Haliburton was injured last season the Pacers were the sixth seed in the East and five games above .500. This season Haliburton and Myles Turner enter the season healthy, the Pacers added needed defense by signing Bruce Brown, Toppin will fit well with a point guard who likes to run in Haliburton, and young players Bennedict Mathurin and Aaron Nesmith are poised to take a step forward.

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