NBA Trade Grades: Pacers send Domantas Sabonis to Sacramento

Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers. (Mandatory Credit: Doug McSchooler-USA TODAY Sports)
Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers. (Mandatory Credit: Doug McSchooler-USA TODAY Sports) /

Here are the trade grades for the Indiana Pacers sending Domantas Sabonis to the Sacramento Kings in a multi-player deal involving Tyrese Haliburton.

So the Indiana Pacers and the Sacramento Kings made a deal with Domantas Sabonis going to Northern California and Tyrese Haliburton to the Hoosier State.

Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Pacers sent Sabonis, Jeremy Lamb and a Jeremy Lamb to be named later to the Kings in exchange for Haliburton, Buddy Hield and Tristan Thompson. With the Pacers rebuilding and the Kings being who they are this is not a move that will massively shake up the Eastern or Western Conference standings. This is all about getting ready for future seasons.

Here is Wojnarowski’s initial tweet with Sacramento getting Sabonis and a couple of Lambs.

And because the world wasn’t ready for two Jeremy Lambs, Wojnarowski corrected his initial tweet by saying the second Jeremy Lamb going Sacramento’s way was Justin Holiday. Looks like somebody just got a new nickname.

Indiana Pacers trade grade: A

What makes this deal a great one for Indiana is it accomplishes its primary goal of building towards the future. Haliburton is a budding star in the NBA, but is not yet ready to help a mediocre team get over the top. Hield could be moved in another deal and Thompson is on a favorable expiring. The Pacers improve for the future, but may not be out of the race for the No. 1 pick.

The other component here is the Pacers may not be moving Myles Turner after all. Outside of Sabonis, he was Indiana’s most intriguing trade asset. Because the Pacers were willing to part ways with their southpawed former All-Star over their starting center, it gives them a player they can build with down the line in Haliburton. He will probably enjoy his swift return to the Midwest.

Sacramento Kings trade grade: B+

This is not a bad deal for the Kings, but it does somewhat force their hand towards being a team built on Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox going forward. That is not a bad thing, but adding Sabonis could slow down the Kings’ pace, as the newcomer forward thrives in the half court. Putting shooters out on the win in Lamb and Holiday gives the Kings some more wing depth in their overall arsenal.

Ultimately, the Pacers get the slightly better end of the deal here because Haliburton is not a finished product like Sabonis is. While the Lithuanian big man might welcome his return to the West Coast, he is probably not an All-Star in the other conference now. As for Haliburton, he is a piece Pacers fans can rally behind after ownership has finally decided to hit the reset button.

This is a good trade for both parties, but the Pacers win it because they are getting Haliburton.

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