When the Sacramento Kings traded Tyrese Haliburton, it shocked the basketball world. As a player widely seen as having star potential, Haliburton was thought to be the next face of the Kings before his deadline-day move to Indianapolis.
Now, the Pacers are set to build around Hali as their star and leader going forward.
In an exclusive chat with Basketball News, Pacers general manager Chad Buchanan admitted that he has big expectations for Tyrese.
“We're gonna build our team around him,” Buchanan told Basketball News. “We see him as hopefully being the next Reggie Miller. We had a Reggie Miller mural painted on a building in downtown Indianapolis, and I think our dream is that one day Tyrese will have [his own] up somewhere in downtown Indianapolis.”
"We gave up a really good player in Domas, too," Buchanan said. "They had a lot of guards and had some flexibility to maybe move one of them; we had multiple bigs and we kind of had flexibility to move one of ours. So our needs and their needs kind of matched up, and the roster situation matched up as well. For them, I'm sure having Domas be available made it a great deal for them..."
With what Sacramento needed and what we're trying to build, it was a win-win situation for both teams — I wouldn't say anything bad about Sacramento because they had multiple talented guards and they had to make a decision. It was hard for them to play all of those guys, I'm sure. And for us, it was hard to play Myles [Turner] and Domas together. So we were both kind of in a situation where we had to make decisions on multiple good players at the same position. It just happened to work out that we both walked away with good talent out of the deal."
It has been years since the Pacers have been competitive at an elite level, but Haliburton could be the guy that changes that.
With averages of 15.3 points, 8.2 assists, and 4 rebounds per game on 47% shooting last season, he showed flashes of who he could be. Now, it's up to him to be consistent and make the ascension into stardom.