We knew the Pacers wanted to break up the frontcourt of Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis, but the portrayal was always as if Turner would be the one traded. It was also portrayed that the Kings were reluctant to trade their young stud in Tyrese Haliburton, but they did.
Pacers Receive: Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, and Tristan Thompson
Kings Receive: Domantas Sabonis, Jeremy Lamb, Justin Holiday, and a 2027 SRP
The Kings have been in the NBA’s closet since 2006, which was the last time they were in the playoffs (lost in the 1st round). In all those years, Sacramento was consistently reluctant to make moves throughout the offseason. They continued to live on the back end of the NBA, and their record since that 2005-06 season is 503-832. Jeremy Lamb and Justin Holiday will provide solid minutes from the bench, but although Sabonis immediately becomes the Kings’ best player, they had to give up their most reliable young piece in Haliburton. Since the last time they made the playoffs in 2006, the Kings have continued to make short-term moves designed to get them better right then and there. They’ve never thought to rebuild the franchise in hopes of coming back an actual playoff team. Well, guess what? The Kings have done that again. They’re 22-38 and it’s a race for the play-in tournament. If they keep making these mistakes, this organization will continue to be the walking trash can of the league.
The Pacers may have had to give up Domantas Sabonis, but that shouldn’t be a heavy burden for the team. Although Sabonis is a great player, they weren’t winning with him, so it’s not necessarily a huge loss for them. I don’t mean Sabonis wasn’t helping them win, I’m saying Indiana had nothing to lose. Acquiring Hield adds a shooter and scorer that can play both the guard and forward (when he needs to). With Haliburton, the Pacers have primarily used him as a point guard so far, but he is well-equipped to play both shooting guard and small forward at 6’5. He has already exhibited prowess in pick-and-roll situations and his ability to make reads off the dribble is fantastic. I’m excited to witness Haliburton (and Chris Duarte) develop in Indiana, and hopefully, this team will be relevant in the next couple of seasons.