Kings trade Haliburton to Indy for Sabonis in blockbuster


The NBA trade deadline still is two days away but the Kings made a major move Tuesday.

Sacramento sent Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield and Tristan Thompson to the Indiana Pacers for Domantas Sabonis, Justin Holiday, Jeremy Lamb and a 2023 second-round draft pick, the team officially announced Tuesday night.

“We are ecstatic to welcome Domantas, Justin and Jeremy to our Sacramento Kings family,” Kings general manager Monte McNair said in a statement. “This was a unique opportunity to acquire a two-time All-Star and two veteran wings, all whom will help us, as we continue to build here in Sacramento. We would also like to thank Tyrese, Buddy and Tristan for their contributions to the Kings and wish them well moving forward.”

The Kings (20-35) currently are in 13th place in the Western Conference and have been a focal point of trade rumors of the past month. Recent reports suggested that the Kings didn't want to trade either De'Aaron Fox or Haliburton, but it's clear that the possibility of acquiring the 25-year-old Sabonis was too big of an opportunity to pass up.

In 47 games this season, Sabonis is averaging 18.9 points, 12.1 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game while shooting 58.0 percent from the field. He is under contract through the 2023-24 season.

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Haliburton, 21, has had a sensational sophomore season. Over the last 24 games, he's averaging 17.3 points per game and 9.4 assists while shooting 47 percent from the field and 43 percent from 3-point range. He is a career 41.1 percent shooter from downtown.

Hield has struggled this season, shooting just 38.2 percent from the field and 36.8 percent from 3-point range. Hield has two years and $38 million remaining on his current contract.

This is the first significant trade of the Monte McNair era. Now, the Kings' general manager must find a way to build a winning roster around Fox and Sabonis while the Pacers look to the future with a rising star in Haliburton.

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