NBA Trade Grades: Pacers, Kings retool their rosters with huge swap

Indiana Pacers Domantas Sabonis (Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)
Indiana Pacers Domantas Sabonis (Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) /

Grading the huge blockbuster trade between the Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers. 

Two days before the 2022 NBA trade deadline, Domantas Sabonis was traded to the Sacramento Kings for a package consisting of Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield.

This news shocked people, as reports led everyone to believe that the Kings were gonna move forward with Haliburton instead of De’Aaron Fox. Clearly, that was not the case, as they shipped off the young point in a deal for one of the league’s top big men.

Sabonis was named an all-star this year averaging a double-double to accompany his five assists per game as a big man. Sabonis is without a doubt very skilled, but this trade left many people scratching their heads as it seems to make little sense for Sacramento.

While they do get an offensively skilled big man who fits at the four or five, they also traded one of the league’s best young point guards along with one of the league’s best 3-point shooters.

Many people are saying that the Pacers committed a highway robbery and I have to agree. Haliburton is averaging roughly 14 points per game to go along with seven assists and almost two steals per game. Those numbers get only better when Fox doesn’t play, as he’s averaging a mind-boggling 18 points and nine assists per game with Fox out of the lineup.

The Pacers also add Buddy Hield who they can either use to fill in for the recently traded Caris LeVert or flip him for more young players/picks.

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This trade is confusing from the Sacramento end. Maybe they like Sabonis’ fit with Fox and were willing to commit to Fox long-term. Either way, the Pacers got a stud in Haliburton and the future is looking bright in Indiana.

Kings: D+

Pacers: A