The Indiana Pacers sent Domantas Sabonis out west to Sacramento in a blockbuster, six-player trade with the Kings.
The Indiana Pacers completed a trade with the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday afternoon, two days before the trade deadline. Indiana elected to trade away their two-time All-Star forward Domantas Sabonis to the Kings along with Jeremy Lamb, Justin Holiday, and a 2023 second-round pick. In return, they received Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, and Tristan Thompson. This trade came two days after the Pacers traded Caris LeVert to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Pacers were looking for trades trying to rebuild their roster. Sabonis was their main star and had the highest trade value on the team. The organization realized they couldn’t win with this roster and needed to make changes. In return, they get Haliburton, who had previously been “off the table.” His appearance in this trade shocked many people in the basketball community. Haliburton gives them youth and a future at the guard position alongside Chris Duarte.
The Kings are in an interesting position as well. They aren’t competing in the West and hope that Sabonis will put them over the edge. This trade came across to many as a “win-now” trade, but this Kings team is nowhere near that stage. Sabonis will bring energy with the potential to get a triple-double on any given night. Sacramento looks to pair him with the guard tandem of De’Aaron Fox and Davion Mitchell. Mitchell benefits the most from this trade, filling Haliburton’s spot in the starting lineup.
Indiana and Sacramento have pulled off a blockbuster trade ahead of Thursday’s deadline, confirmed by @davidaldridgedc:
◻️2027 second-round pick
◻️Tristan Thompson pic.twitter.com/7D5fdkr0dY
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) February 8, 2022
Sabonis is the highlight of this trade for the Kings. At 25 years old, he has shown a lot of progress and promise playing one season with the Oklahoma City Thunder before being traded with Victor Oladipo to Indiana for Paul George. He has spent the last four seasons in the Hoosier state. This season he’s averaging 18.9 ppg (31st in the league), 12.1 rpg (4th in the league), and 5.0 apg (35th in the league). Sabonis is 3rd in the league with 34 double-doubles and sixth in triple-doubles with five.
The biggest knock on his game has been his defense and that’s shown at times with the Pacers. Turner picks up the slack on defense, so Richaun Holmes will have to do much the same with Sabonis. The Kings get Sabonis on the second year of his four-year, $74.9 m contract. He is set to make $18.5 million this season and next. Then will make $19.4 million in the final year of his contract during the 2023-24 season.
Lamb, Holiday, and a pick
Sacramento also received Lamb, Holiday, and a second-round pick in the trade. Lamb is 29 years old, playing in his 10th season in the NBA. A stop with the Kings will mark the fourth team he has played for in his professional career. He has seen his minutes per game decline since joining the Pacers in the 2019-20 season, only averaging 15.7 mpg in 39 games this season. Holiday has been the bigger contributor on the Pacers starting 40 games and shooting 37.8 percent from, deep averaging 11 points per game this season. At 32 years old Holiday has made his way around the league. The Kings mark the eighth team he’s played on.
Never in their wildest dreams did Pacer fans believe Haliburton would be involved in this trade. Leading up to the trade, both Fox and Haliburton were rumored to be “off the table.” Haliburton is 21 years old, playing in his second season in the NBA. He’s still on his rookie deal making $4 million this season. Next season he makes about the same and then has a team option for the 2023-24 season.
In his short time in the league, Haliburton has the makings of an elite player. His shooting is what has stood out connecting on 45.7 percent of his shots from the field and 41.3 percent of his shots beyond the arc. He averages 14.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.7 spg, and 7.4 apg. His assist average is 11th best in the league. In 16 games this season he has tallied at least 10 or more assists. In his most recent game he dished out 17 helpers, breaking records.
Tyrese Haliburton had 17 assists tonight.
— StatMuse (@statmuse) February 6, 2022
Hield and Thompson
Hield is a respected shooter in his own right. The former sixth overall pick is in his seventh season in the league at 29 years old. On his career, Hield has shot 42.9 percent from the field and 40 percent from deep. This season his shooting is down, only connecting on 38.2 percent of his shots from the field and 36.8 percent from three-point range. On the other side, Thompson is in the last year of his two-year, $18.9 million contract. At 30 years old and now on his fourth different team in the NBA, Thompson is a likely buyout candidate wanting to join a title-contending team. He is not expected to play for the Pacers.
Indiana struck rich in this trade, owning up to the #GoldBlooded trademark. Haliburton gives them a future star at the point guard position, who’s showcasing his passing and scoring abilities in year two. Paired with Duarte at the guard positions, teams will have to think about both shooters. Hield is a good shooter in his own league and will most likely fill in a forward position or add shooting off the bench. Thompson will likely be bought out freeing up cap space for this offseason or offloaded for draft capital.
Sacramento received a tremendous player in Sabonis, who will definitely draw attention not just in the Pacific division, but the Western Conference. If the Kings can start to assemble more talent and find a leader to get behind, the team may see much-needed improvement. Haliburton leaving opens up a spot for Mitchell to grow and develop in a starting role. Sabonis can take pressure off of the bigs Holmes and Marvin Bagley III. Time will tell how this trade panned out for either side, but at face value, it seems the Pacers may have gotten the better end of the bargain.