With the NBA trade deadline sprinting toward us, fans sleep with one eye open, anticipating game-changing swaps. So far, the most noteworthy transaction has been the Los Angeles Lakers acquiring Rui Hachimura from the Washington Wizards. But it is the nature of the trade deadline to get crazier every day until the pendulum stops swinging.
In the spirit of this adrenaline-pumping period around the NBA, we look back at one of the most impactful trades last season between the Sacramento Kings and the Indiana Pacers.
The key pieces to the trade were Tyrese Haliburton and Domantas Sabonis, who are both playing important roles in their new teams’ success this season. The way these players perform warrants a revisit and reevaluation of the trade right around its first anniversary.
All hail the Kings
The sun is shining in northern California, and it isn’t because of the Golden State Warriors. While some teams are flying under the radar, the Sacramento Kings have made their presence felt. In a time when the top four teams in the Western Conference have a combined total of one NBA Finals appearance, fanbases have plenty to be thankful for. The lone finals appearance came in 1951 from the Rochester Royals, whose lineage directs to what we know today as the Kings.
The number-one hit song when the Kings last made a postseason run was “Bad Day” by Daniel Powter in 2006. That would be a fitting theme for the Kings as they found themselves anchored at the deep end of the Western Conference for each following season– but that was before.
With its young roster, California’s capital city has risen over state and division opponents. To say that the Kings are the third seed (27-19) in the competitive west would have sounded like fiction last year. But anybody paying attention to the NBA this season can agree that the Kings have been one of the most entertaining teams to watch. They deserve to be where they are and don’t show signs of slowing down.
As for Sabonis, he has proven to be the spark that Sacramento needed to play to its full potential. The Lithuanian forward has not missed a step averaging 18.7 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 7.4 assists this season. He also has five games where he tallied at least 15 points, 15 rebounds, and five assists. With Sabonis in the roundtable, the Kings have topped the NBA in offensive efficiency.
While most teams slowly climb the ladder to contention, the Kings have found a fast track to get ahead of the group. From finishing 12th…