Tyrese Haliburton

Former Warriors GM Myers rues passing on Haliburton in 2020 NBA Draft

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Bob Myers doesn't have many regrets from his time as Warriors general manager, but one still haunts him to this day.

Golden State selected center James Wiseman with the No. 2 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, passing on current young stars like Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball and even Indiana Pacers star Tyrese Haliburton, Philadelphia 76ers' Tyrese Maxey and Memphis Grizzlies' Desmond Bane who all were drafted later in the first round.

Myers, now an analyst for ESPN's "NBA Countdown," discussed passing on Haliburton prior to the NBA In-Season Tournament matchup between the Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday at T-Mobile Arena.

"Let's talk about that. That workout was a few miles from here in Vegas," Myers said. "[With] myself, Steve Kerr, Joe Lacob and he did what he does. He made a ton of shots and we looked at each other and said 'he might be pretty good.' Different kind of shot, kind of a set shot, but he made them all.

"What bothers me more than anything was his workout was good (but) when we met with him after, I should have known then because of how he is as a person and as a leader. Because you meet with people, you talk to them. But that conversation left a mark because of how smart he is and how confident (he is). It's not fake, it's not arrogant, it's confidence."

Haliburton originally was selected by the Sacramento Kings with the No. 12 pick and impressed in his rookie 2020-21 NBA season before he was traded to the Pacers in a blockbuster deal for big man Domantas Sabonis at the deadline the following season. In his fourth year, Haliburton is averaging a career-high 26.9 points and 11.9 assists per game on 52.1-percent shooting from the field and 41.2 percent from 3-point range while firmly establishing himself as an MVP candidate.

Myers is not surprised by Haliburton's success and believes who he is as a player and person has played a big role in Indiana's surprising 11-8 start to the season as it vies for a spot in the In-Season Tournament championship.

"And so when you talk about players wanting to play with him, it's real," Myers added. "Because he's a great player. He's showing us now he's a great player and this is a fantastic stage for him. But more than that, there's a lot of players in the NBA that people do not want to play with. If you're a great player and a great person, then people want to play with you. He's doing it. I'm thrilled for the Pacers, I'm thrilled for that community. That's a basketball town and they're lucky to have ths guy and we're lucky to be able to watch him because he deserves it. He's earned this stage."

While the Warriors continued to believe in Wiseman's upside, even after trading him to the Detroit Pistons at the deadline last season, there's no question the selection, in hindsight, was a big mistake.

Passing on a player like Haliburton certainly is one of the very few regrets Myers has from his 12-year Warriors tenure.

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