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Haliburton, Avdija discuss how they would fit with Warriors

The two 2020 NBA Draft prospects talked to the media and shared their thoughts on potentially being picked by the Dubs.

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Two prospects expected to go in the top 10 of the 2020 NBA Draft spoke to the media during separate Zoom calls as part of the Combine.

Tyrese Haliburton and Deni Avdija were asked various questions during their availabilities and specifically about potentially being selected by the Golden State Warriors.

The 6’5 Haliburton played two seasons at Iowa State and seems to be climbing up draft boards lately. He averaged 15.2 points, 5.9 boards, and 6.5 assists with the Cyclones and shot 41.9% from beyond-the-arc.

Haliburton, who copied Stephen Curry’s pregame routine during college, didn’t hide his excitement when he asked about being able to practice with the two-time NBA MVP.

“That would be huge,” the 20-year-old said. “Steph being one of the best point guards ever play the game of basketball and probably the best shooter ever to play the game of basketball, it would be big for me to learn from him and just kind of pick his brain ... And then take that challenge on in practice as well, because if I can stay in front of Steph and guard, I feel like I could probably guard anybody.”

The Dubs have interviewed Haliburton already and specifically mentioned former Warrior Shaun Livingston when discussing which type of role they see him playing for the team. Haliburton says that he wants to emulate Livingston’s ability to guard multiple positions, but knows he brings a different dynamic on the offensive end.

Shaun Livingston might be one of the best mid-range jump shooters I’ve ever seen, (but) I think I can shoot from outside better than him, Haliburton said. “Obviously, Shaun Livingston being a great player, that’s really the high praise that they think I could be someone similar to that.”

Haliburton seems like a lock to go in the top 10.

Avdija — who played with Maccabi Tel Aviv last season — touched on several topics, including how he would fit in Golden State, considering the team expects to be a championship contender next season.

“This team is a great team, with a lot of great guys and good All-Star players I can learn from,” Avdija said. “I think it’s a great experience, I’ll be excited wherever I go, but to be a championship contender, that’s a great opportunity.”

Avdija told reporters that he has not had contact with any NBA teams yet. The 19-year-old has a ton playmaking skills and a high IQ but will need to develop his shooting to become an impact player at the pro level.

The Israeli forward shot 33.3% from deep last season and just 58.8% from the free-throw line. Avdija’s shooting form looks natural, and he said he’s working on his shot every day.

The Warriors will meet with more prospects as the weeks go on. Haliburton and Avdija are enticing options that will bring two vastly different skill sets to their respective teams.


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