Domantas Sabonis headed to Sacramento Kings in blockbuster trade involving Tyrese Haliburton

We have our second blockbuster NBA trade with two days before the deadline. That includes star big man Domantas Sabonis heading to California’s capital city in one of the biggest in-season trades we’ve seen around the Association in some time.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Indiana Pacers have dealt Sabonis, Justin Holiday and Jeremy Lamb to the Sacramento Kings for stud young guard Tyrese Haliburton, sharpshooter Buddy Hield and Tristan Thompson.

That’s not a typo. The Kings have acquired a two-time All-Star big man to help retool what has been a backcourt-heavy roster during another down season in Sacramento.

Related: Updated NBA trade rumors

Blockbuster Domantas Sabonis for Tyrese Haliburton swap

Mar 13, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis (11) smiles on the court in the second half against the Phoenix Suns at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

While the other players involved in this mega deal bring things to the table, it’s these two big-name individuals who are at the center of the blockbuster six-player swap.

  • Domantas Sabonis stats (2021-22): 18.9 PPG, 12.1 RPG, 5.0 APG, 1.0 SPG, 58% shooting, 32% three-point

Acquired from the Oklahoma City Thunder in the blockbuster Paul George trade, Sabonis has morphed into one of the better all-around bigs in the game. He earned two consecutive All-Star appearances before a somewhat down start to the 2021-22 campaign.

For Sacramento, bringing Sabonis into the mix enables the team to add to a frontcourt that has been lacking. The team was heavy at guard with De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton and rookie lottery pick Davion Mitchell. Sabonis will join Harrison Barnes (for now) as two capable frontcourt scorers for a Kings team that still has play-in aspirations.

As for Indiana, this blockbuster comes after the struggling team moved off Caris LeVert in a trade with the conference-rival Cleveland Cavaliers over the weekend.

At 19-36 on the season, Indiana is among the most-disappointing squads in the Association under first-year head coach Rick Carlisle. Being able to acquire the 21-year-old Haliburton has to be seen as a coup. He was the No. 12 pick of the Kings back in 2020 and has turned into a legit threat in the backcourt.

tyrese haliburton trade
Feb 2, 2022; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) fights for the ball against Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
  • Tyrese Haliburton stats (2021-22): 14.3 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 7.4 APG, 46% shooting, 41% three-point

For now, Haliburton will team up with Malcolm Brogdon to form a solid backcourt for the Pacers. He’s a future franchise cornerstone.

As for the other players moved in this deal, we wouldn’t be surprised if they were traded to other destinations ahead of Thursday’s NBA trade deadline. In particular, Buddy Hield offers tremendous value. The guard is averaging 18.0 points on 40% shooting from distance since the start of the 2018-19 campaign.

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