The Indiana Pacers are bound to make history soon with this move

Rick Carlisle - Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Carlisle - Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

The Indiana Pacers are just a couple of days away from starting their 2022-23 campaign, but the franchise is slated to pull off the inevitable in the near future and subsequently make history in the process.

Historically, the team has operated quite frugally. Since the flip of the century, the Pacers have paid the luxury tax just thrice, a surprisingly low output for a franchise that has been among the most consistently competitive teams in the league, even flirting with the title a bunch of times.

While that may not change in light of Indiana’s current trajectory, the front office should be in for quite the expense sooner than later, and it all revolves around a single player: Tyrese Haliburton.

The Indiana Pacers will inevitably make history soon with Tyrese Haliburton’s looming extension

Malcolm Brogdon, who raked in $21.7 million last season with the Pacers, holds the record for touting the most expensive deal in team history on a single-year span. Victor Oladipo, who made a flat $21 million in two seasons (2017-2019), is right behind him. Even Paul George topped at only $18.3 million when he donned the Blue and Gold.

All of those figures, however, will seem puny next to Haliburton’s potential price tag. Aside from projected significant jumps in the salary cap and tax level around the league, recent player extensions in the league will definitely bolster the cost of extending the young point guard.

Here are the most recent rookie-scale contract extensions in the association:

  • Ja Morant (Memphis): $194.3 million, five years
  • Darius Garland (Cleveland): $194.3 million, five years
  • Zion Williamson (New Orleans): $194.3 million, five years
  • Jordan Poole (Golden State): $123 million, four years
  • Tyler Herro (Miami): $120 million, four years
  • RJ Barrett (New York): $107 million, four years

With Haliburton being an easy bet to out-produce some, if not most of those players in the following campaign, his extension value should easily be along those benchmarks as well, if not more. And the Pacers pulling the trigger on such is a near-certainty, notwithstanding their relatively modest spending history.

If so, then Indiana will be on the trail of history. Herb Simon and co. also won’t get to act cute and try to bargain for less, as the up-and-coming star has no reason at all to settle for a discounted deal.

Nevertheless, given Tyrese Haliburton’s talent, investing in him will undeniably set the franchise up for the better. Spending big will be a clear message that the franchise is ready to abandon its olden ways.

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