Kings’ Fox, Haliburton rank among NBA’s top young talents

Kings guards De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton were prominently featured in Bleacher Report’s list of the NBA’s 24 best players under the age of 24.

Fox came in at No. 6 in the 24 Under 24 Rankings. Haliburton was No. 12.

Fox, 23, is entering his fifth NBA season after coming out of Kentucky as the No. 5 pick in the 2017 NBA draft. He averaged 25.2 points and 7.2 rebounds last season.

“De’Aaron Fox’s speed makes him one of the most breathtaking players in the league to watch, especially in person,” Bleacher Report’s Sean Highkin wrote. “In that way, he’s reminiscent of a young, pre-injury John Wall. His finishing ability is more than enough to make up for an inconsistent three-point shot. In his fourth season, he averaged a career-high 25.2 points per game along with 7.2 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals. If the Kings were better, he’d be an All-Star by now. If they’re decent this year, he might make it for the first time.”

Haliburton, 21, was a Rookie of the Year finalist and an NBA All-Rookie First Team selection last season after coming out of Iowa State as the No. 12 pick in the 2020 draft.

“One of the surprises of last year’s draft lottery, guard Tyrese Haliburton worked his way into the Kings’ starting lineup alongside De’Aaron Fox with a combination of consistent outside shooting and playmaking,” Highkin wrote. “He shot 40.9 percent from beyond the arc while averaging 13.0 points, 5.3 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game, mostly in a reserve role before being inserted into the starting lineup toward the end of the season. Haliburton came in third in Rookie of the Year voting and entered his second season as a starter. He could be the CJ McCollum to Fox’s Damian Lillard if all goes according to plan.”

Topping Bleacher Report’s list were the Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic at No. 1, Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum at No. 2, Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Young at No. 3, Memphis Grizzlies’ Ja Morant at No. 4 and New Orleans Pelicans’ Zion Williamson at No. 5.

This story was originally published October 25, 2021 9:25 AM.

Jason Anderson is an award-winning sportswriter for The Sacramento Bee. He started his journalism career at The Bee more than 20 years ago and returned to cover the Sacramento Kings in September 2018.

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