After the New Orleans Pelicans tried to push themselves into the playoff picture this morning, another Western Conference team has followed suit.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Indiana Pacers will send 2x All-Star Domantas Sabonis, guard Jeremy Lamb, and swingman Justin Holiday to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, and Tristan Thompson.
Jeremy Lamb AND Justin Holiday. https://t.co/0GbRwKcRBP
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 8, 2022
The trade further signals a full-blown rebuild for the Indiana Pacers, who have put both Sabonis and Myles Turner on the market this deadline. Earlier this week, the organization also partied ways with sparkplug scorer Caris LeVert, who found his way to Cleveland in exchange for Ricky Rubio’s expiring deal and draft equity.
The trade also lands the Pacers quite the impressive return value. Tyrese Haliburton – who came off the board 12th in the 2020 NBA Draft – has become one of the NBA’s top rising stars. He had a remarkably impressive rookie season in Sacramento before averaging 14.3 points and 7.4 assists on 45.7 percent shooting from the field and 41.3 percent shooting from downtown this season. Just 21 years old with immense two-way potential, it feels like a massive piece for this Kings to move on from, especially when we consider they are also sending out one of the NBA’s better 3-point threats in Buddy Hield.
At 21, Tyrese Haliburton ranks 12th in the league in steals, 11th in assists and is already one of the most efficient jump shooters in the NBA. pic.twitter.com/QUj4xvxiCj
— Kirk Goldsberry (@kirkgoldsberry) February 8, 2022
Don’t get me wrong, Sabonis is an All-Star-caliber big man who was going to come with a hefty price tag. And while it’s nice to see a Sacramento Kings team that has failed to make the playoffs since the 2005-06 season make a big move, should that move have come while they sit 20-35 and 13th in the West? Oh, and should it have come for a potential young star in Haliburton, who happens to fit much better on paper alongside Sabonis than point guard De’Aaron Fox.
With the news out there, I guess I’ll add a note about what this means for the Chicago Bulls’ pursuit of a big man. This swap between the Pacers and Kings could have actually opened some doors for Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley. Not only does it take the Kings off the market for a big man, but it has possibly made two other centers available.
Richaun Holmes has been on the trading block, and while he could come with a bigger price tag than the Bulls are willing to pay, he would be a significant addition to their frontcourt. Holmes is a hustle player who is a highly efficient finisher around the rim and a physical rebounder. If the Bulls were to add him into the mix, he’d also immediately be their best interior rim protector. Again, I think it’s unlikely the Bulls can pull this off, but recent rumors about a Jakob Poeltl pursuit could suggest they are willing to pay up.
The other interesting part of this deal is the inclusion of Tristian Thompson. A proven veteran with plenty of playoff experience, Thompson has been mentioned as a potential buyout candidate. Will the Pacers look to still reach a buyout or will the organization keep him as frontcourt reinforcement? Of course, we also can’t rule out the possibility of a third-team coming into the picture to grab him.
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) January 28, 2022