Accolades and Final Thoughts:
As far as accolades go, both Sabonis and Haliburton have been named 2023 NBA All-Stars, with De’Aaron Fox getting in as an injury reserve. In addition to being selected as an All-Star, Haliburton and Buddy Hield will also be representing the Pacers in the 3-Point Shootout. That, along with Bennedict Mathurin and Andrew Nembhard being in the Rising Stars game ensures that the 2023 All-Star Weekend will not be short of Indiana Pacers talent.
Prior to the trade, the Pacers and Kings were in completely different situations, with the Pacers looking to remain in mediocrity with a roster of not exactly young, but not exactly old players and no real direction for the future besides being an eternal “tough out” team while the Kings looked to continue missing the playoffs with a bunch of young and talented but underutilized players.
Now however, both teams’ fortunes have been reversed, with the Pacers still losing but having a bunch of young talent and most likely holding a top pick in the loaded 2023 NBA Draft along with Haliburton and star rookie Bennedict Mathurin leading the charge, while the Kings are playoff-bound for the first time since 2006, breaking a 16 year postseason drought, the longest in NBA history.
When news of this trade first broke down, initial reactions were to praise the Pacers for “fleecing” the Kings and to make fun of the Kings’ front office for being incompetent. That might have been a bit too early of a conclusion, as the Kings have certainly shown that they have most definitely made the most out of the trade, and now finally have a future to look forward to for the first time since the early 2000s.
All in all, the trade between the Sacramento Kings and the Indiana Pacers on February 8th, 2023 will go down as one of the rare balanced trades in NBA history in my opinion. At the end of the day, you will always have the people that disagree, and claim either the Pacers or the Kings won the trade but it is clear that this trade helped out both franchises in different ways, but ultimately helped them find what they were missing and needed most, a direction going forward.