Pacers’ Haliburton could earn lucrative contract extension

Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Indiana’s Tyrese Haliburton is eligible for an extension this offseason, and his play could demand a lucrative contract. He became the NBA’s first-ever player to average 20 points, 10 assists, and shoot 40% from 3-point range in the 2022-23 season. He made his first All-Star appearance and had the Pacers positioned to battle for a playoff spot before going down with an injury. With Haliburton at the helm, the Pacers are a top-5 NBA offense.

Haliburton holds a significant role in the organization by acting as a partner to the Pacers’ brass. It’s no secret that they consider him the franchise player and a cornerstone of the team.

As he enters the fourth and final year of his rookie deal, he can sign a maximum extension with Indiana. The basic guidelines for rookie scale max extensions are that players can 1) earn up to 25% of the salary cap, 2) have a salary increase of up to 8% each year, and 3) sign with the team for up to 5 years.

These outlines are unique to the team that either drafted the player or traded for him while he was still on his rookie scale contract. Since the Pacers acquired Haliburton in a trade with the Kings during his second NBA season, they can offer him this type of extension–and likely will.

It’s impossible to know the exact value due to the unknown salary cap of the 2024-25 season, but Haliburton’s maximum extension could reach north of $200 million over the next five years. This figure can increase to over $250 million if the Pacers add in language that rewards a potential All-NBA selection for Haliburton.

The NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement dictates that a player with 6 or fewer years of experience earning 1) All-NBA, 2) Defensive Player of the Year, or 3) Most Valuable Player honors may be paid up to 30% of the salary cap instead of the standard 25% for these contracts.

Tyrese Haliburton was solidly in All-NBA discussions in the 2022-23 season prior to succumbing to an injury. If he makes any of the three All-NBA teams next season, he is eligible to receive up to 30% of the cap in his new deal. Because these opportunities are well within reach for Tyrese, the Pacers will likely add language to his contract that allows him to receive this pay boost.

If the Pacers reach an agreement with Haliburton after free agency begins on July 1st, they would have him under team control for six years (assuming the last year of his extension does not include a player option). This number includes the final year of his rookie scale contract (2023-24 season) and the anticipated five years of his new deal (through the 2029-30 season).

$200 million may seem like a staggering amount of money for a 23-year-old, but Haliburton continues to improve his game and prove his potential as an NBA point guard. Having him under team control over the next six seasons is crucial to the future of the franchise, and the Pacers will likely not hesitate to offer him this maximum extension.

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Stats via StatMuse.