Pacers’ Tyrese Haliburton’s Team USA competition for the 2024 Olympics: Nailed the Audition – Jalen Brunson
This 2023 FIBA team felt a lot like a group of understudies and interns trying their best to impress the higher-ups and get promoted to the big time, which is a spot on the 2024 Paris Olympic team.
Clearly, the star of the group was Anthony Edwards. Time will tell whether he is going to parlay his Team USA work and make that jump to All-NBA status, but he’s certainly endeared himself to the organization with his star turn in Manila. If I was fielding an Olympic team, I would take Edwards in the blink of an eye.
However, the main competition for Haliburton is, as it has been for a while, Jalen Brunson.
This is quite tricky, as Brunson had a very up-and-down FIBA series. He would put up 21 points on 9-of-9 shooting one night, and on other nights, he would have four points on 2-of-6 shooting.
Social media took notice of this, with the Brunson/Haliburton debates taking center stage. But the two still share a good bond on and off the court, despite these comparisons.
In the end, I would take Haliburton over Brunson simply because of the added playmaking bonus, along with getting similar scoring abilities and shooting touch.
This also shined through in FIBA play, with Haliburton’s lineups routinely outplaying Brunson’s lineups as the Pacers point guard used his pace and ability to control the game to make some great runs for Team USA.
Current outlook: Let’s put Brunson in the “Maybe” tier, ahead of Damian Lillard.