Tyrese Haliburton was the single most promising thing in the hellscape that is the Sacramento Kings organization on Tuesday morning. By Tuesday afternoon, the Kings traded him to the Indiana Pacers in a package for Domantas Sabonis.
At just 21-years-old, Haliburton seemed like he was bound to be a King for the long haul and recently made comments indicating he felt the same way.
“I’m a member of the Sacramento Kings so I’m gonna help fix this,” said Haliburton. “I don’t know how long it’ll take. It ain’t gonna be a day, it ain’t gonna be in a month, but imma be here and we’re gonna make it work. I promise you that.”
Despite all of Haliburton's buy-in and to the organization, they traded him. Haliburton is one of the most personable guys to don a Kings jersey in years, so losing him is a major blow. In addition to him being a fan favorite, Haliburton, at a minimum is a really good long-term starter and at his best could become the next Chris Paul.
It is not hard to envision Haliburton balling out for the Pacers, and putting the Kings’ organization in a familiar spot; with egg on their face and the entire NBA laughing at them.
In the Kings, defense, they did acquire the single best player involved in the trade, all while not having to relinquish any draft capital.
But, trading a player as good and as young as Haliburton, who is under team control for seven more seasons is an enormous risk.
Before even stepping on the court, Domantas Sabonis is one of the five to ten best players to ever put on a Sacramento Kings jersey. But, he is a challenging player to build your team around, especially when you already have another challenging pillar in De’Aron Fox. If Fox and Sabonis are locked in as long-term starters, then the other three players in the lineup have to be able to shoot and they have to be able to play defense, two traits that neither of the Kings’ franchise pillars have.
To make matters even more challenging, the Kings have to do build this winning roster in the two-plus years that Sabonis is under contract.
After months of fans begging Monte McNair to make a trade of some significance, he finally did it. But trading someone as young and as proven as Haliburton is a monumental risk and he better hope it pays off.