2 Years Later: Who won the Pacers-Kings Tyrese Haliburton-Domantas Sabonis trade?

Which team won the Tyrese Haliburton-Domantas Sabonis trade: The Indiana Pacers or the Sacramento Kings?

Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, Tyrese Haliburton, Domantas Sabonis, NBA Trade Rumors
Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, Tyrese Haliburton, Domantas Sabonis, NBA Trade Rumors / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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Non-Haliburton/Sabonis factors

Of course, a trade cannot be judged by straight-up factors alone. There are always outside factors to look at, and for the Kings/Pacers deal, it boils down to two players fighting for positional supremacy before February 8, 2022.

Let's start with Myles Turner and Indiana. As it turns out, Tyrese Haliburton's run in Indiana has not only been beneficial to him and the team but to his teammates as well, specifically Turner. Before the Haliburton trade, Myles Turner was looked at as an incomplete product, a forever project, and a guy who was always pegged as "The idea of him is better than what he is."

Before the trade, Turner was fighting for frontcourt supremacy with Sabonis, as Indiana remained one of the few remaining teams in the league to stick with a double-big lineup despite the changing times. Before the trade, Turner's averages always hovered around 12-14 points per game and 6-7 rebounds. Solid but unspectacular numbers.

Since the trade, however, Turner has blossomed into a completely different player, averaging 17.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2 blocks on 53/35/78% shooting splits in 112 games. In the 86 games he has played with Haliburton, these numbers rise to 17.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks on 54/37/78% shooting splits.

No longer having to operate with a post-oriented big man in the same frontcourt, Sabonis' absence has allowed Turner to roam free, being allowed to create his own shot when needed and get easy buckets out of the pick-and-roll with Haliburton. With Haliburton at the helm, Turner has blossomed from a role-player constantly in trade talks, to a sleeper All-Star candidate who is now seen as the legit third option on a playoff team.

As for Sacramento, their most beneficial star from the trade just so happens to be another point guard in De'Aaron Fox. You may sense a pattern here, where each team sees a positional increase in productivity after trading a player that played that exact position.

After trading for Haliburton and trying them both out at point guard, the Kings were met with a bit of a logjam at the position, especially with them also having Davion Mitchell on the roster, a fellow point guard. In the first half of the 2022 season, before the trade, they tried moving Haliburton to shooting guard to play off the ball, which didn't work for obvious reasons.

In the 91 games that Fox played with Haliburton, he averaged solid numbers of 23.3 points, 6.2 assists, and 3.6 rebounds on 47/30/73% shooting splits. In the 133 games since the trade however, Fox has seen improvements almost across the board while not having to share the backcourt with another ball-dominant facilitator. In these 133 games since the trade, Fox has averaged 26.1 points, 5.9 assists, and 4.2 rebounds on improved 49.5/35/75% shooting splits.

This season in particular has been Fox's best as a pro, as through 44 games he has averaged 26.9 points (career-high), 5.3 assists, 4 rebounds, and 1.8 steals (career-high), on 47/38/71% shooting splits.

The three-point shooting improvement is truly something to behold. Before this season, Fox was always known as a talented scorer but a lackluster shooter, especially from beyond the arc. This season, however, he has seemed to fix that one weakness in his game and now looks like a more complete player than ever.

As you can see, the trade did not just benefit both players being traded, but their respective teams and specific players on said teams. Truly one of the more complex trades of the last few years.