Tyrese Haliburton: I honestly thought he was joking. It was like, Come on now. They’re not trading me. Get out of here. But two seconds later, when it became clear that, actually, he wasn’t joking … I mean, I know this might sound like I’m being dramatic, but you know when you get the news that something bad has happened to a family member or a close friend? And it feels like for a few seconds your heart almost stops? Like there’s just a hollow feeling all through your body? That’s kind of what it was like.
Tyrese Haliburton: A minute or so after that, 90 seconds max, my phone lights up. I look down at the screen and it says Monte. It’s our GM, Monte McNair. And I’m not gonna lie: When I saw that name pop up on my phone, my heart sank. I knew it was over right then. It was a quick conversation. Pretty straightforward. “Hey man, I just wanted to let you know that we made a trade, and we’re going to be sending you to Indiana. I wish you the best.” There were maybe a couple more words after that. We both said thank you. Then I hung up, set my phone down, and started crying my eyes out.
Tyrese Haliburton: Thirty minutes — that’s all it took. Last week, in the span of a half hour, I went from feeling like I’d be in Sacramento for the next decade … to experiencing the biggest surprise of my entire life. It all started at 10 in the morning on Tuesday, two days before the trade deadline. When my agent called, I was just finishing up breakfast at my house, and the first thing I thought was that maybe he was calling to give me the inside scoop on some players our team was looking into getting. Nah. “Hey man, I just wanted to get in touch because I think you might be getting traded.”
Tyrese Haliburton: After hanging up, I walked into the bathroom and just sat on the counter by the sink in silence. A few minutes later, my girlfriend came in and asked me what was up. When I told her there was a chance I might get traded, at first she didn’t believe me. Once she could tell I was serious, though, she started to get a little worried. So I was like, “Let’s just wait and see what happens in a few days. No big deal. This is fine.” Next thing I know, not even five minutes later, my phone rings. It’s my agent again. “Indiana,” he says. “It’s looking like Indiana.” “What?????” “I’ll keep you posted.”
Tyrese Haliburton: None of us could believe I was actually going to be leaving. I guarantee that if you had taken a poll of our locker room that morning and were like, “Which guy on this team most wants to be in Sacramento long-term” … everyone would’ve said me. And I think that’s what all those tears and emotions were about, at the end of the day.
Tyrese Haliburton: I really, really, really was all in on Sacramento. And I wasn’t shy about it. I would tell people, straight up, “I want to be that next C-Webb for this city.” That was my whole mindset. I wanted to become one of those players who got drafted somewhere and built a legacy — on and off the court. I wanted to become someone the people of Sacramento knew was in their corner.
Scott Agness: Kings GM Monte McNair on the belief that other teams didn’t know Tyrese Haliburton was available via trade: "Maybe don’t believe everything that’s out there. We do our due diligence. Anytime there’s a player that we think can help us, we go kick the tires on that player."
James Boyd: I asked Buddy Hield, who’s been traded before, how he’s helping Tyrese Haliburton through that process: “Just use this as motivation. You got traded for an All-Star player like (Domantas) Sabonis. Them two was the headline (players).” #Pacers pic.twitter.com/ftAAv69z45
James Boyd: I asked Tyrese Haliburton about not having the chance to rebuild with the Kings: “They ain’t want me. … It’s part of the business.” @jxlorenzi then asked if there’s any difficulty to trust a new franchise: “It hurt when I got traded. … I’mma put all I got into this.” #Pacers pic.twitter.com/L3TDM0awFA
In the initial aftermath, I haven’t spoken to one observing team that likes this move for the Kings, especially given how well-known Haliburton was for wanting to be the guy to try to lead this franchise out of the doldrums. Desperate to prevent a league-record 16th consecutive season out of the playoffs, Sacramento still has at least two players (Harrison Barnes and Marvin Bagley III) who should have been dealt by now and remain eager to escape. Stay tuned, Kings diehards. If you dare.
And while Sabonis represents a massive talent at just 25 years of age, many were left puzzled by Sacramento’s decision to move off Haliburton, the 21-year-old point guard who has impressed this season. “The league is stunned,” said ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reported multiple teams would have been “knocking at the door” if they knew Haliburton was available.
Mark Jones: Haliburton was “shocked” when informed of the deal by his representatives and then moments later by GM Monte McNair. He’s packing his belongings and is heading to Indianapolis tomorrow. The overriding impression with TeamHaliburton is that the Kings “really wanted Sabonis”
San Amick: One minor update on the Kings-Pacers specifics: The second rounder that goes to Sacramento is 2023. It conveys if it’s 31-55, source says
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Pacers are trading Domas Sabonis, Jeremy Lamb and Justin Holiday to Sacramento for Tyrese Hailburton, Buddy Hield and Tristan Thompson, sources tell ESPN.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Pacers are including a 2027 second-round pick in the deal to the Kings, sources tell ESPN.
Bobby Marks: Indiana will create a $6M TE in the deal Buddy Hield: $23.1M, $21.2M and $19.3M Tyrese Haliburton: $4M, $4.2M and $5.8M Tristan Thompson: $9.7M
Brenden Nunes: "I refuse to let the culture of what the Kings have been in the past take over who I am as a person... I'm a member of the Sacramento Kings so I'm gonna help fix this. It ain't gonna be in a day but ima be here and we're gonna make it work I promise that." - Tyrese Haliburton
Several Kings players have heard their names come up in reported trade talks, including Fox, Haliburton, Holmes, Hield, Barnes and Marvin Bagley III. The organization would prefer to continue building around Fox and Haliburton, but even Fox admitted anything can happen before the trade deadline.
Many believe the Kings are still the front-runner for Simmons, though any deal could come down to the wire. Sacramento's lone keeper is believed to be Tyrese Haliburton, though it would take a significant bounty for the Kings to give up on Fox. Sacramento won't pay Fox, Simmons and Harris but isn't likely to part with Fox if Harris is in tow with Simmons.
According to league sources, the team is confident they can build around both Fox and Haliburton and that is what they hope to do in the coming days and months. Is there a possibility for a late change of heart? Absolutely, but the Kings would have to get a wild over the top deal in order to change their current stance.
Sabonis is one of the more interesting names that may find a new home before the NBA trade deadline comes and goes. He’s an All-Star and one of the best passing bigs in the game. According to a league source, Fox is not on the table in a swap for the big, as reported on Wednesday. Neither is Tyrese Haliburton. Can the Kings still land the 25-year-old big man? Maybe, but it would have to be for some package of picks and players and the price is likely going to be high.
The Kings remain active in trade conversations, informing teams in the marketplace that they want to build around Fox and second-year guard Tyrese Haliburton, sources said. The Kings have informed Fox and his representation, agent Chris Gaston of Family First Sports, that they do not want to trade him and want to center the team around him and Haliburton. Team sources said any potential deal around Fox for Pacers center Domantas Sabonis will not happen.
One source said Sacramento is considering to package Buddy Hield, Tyrese Haliburton, Harrison Barnes and two first-round picks for Simmons, Harris and Matisse Thybulle. However, the source said the Sixers aren’t interested in that package.
Another source said the Sixers haven’t received a formal trade offer at this time. The source added that none of those talks have involved Thybulle or any of the Sixers’ other young players. Speaking of Thybulle specifically, the source added the second-team All-Defensive selection is close to being untouchable.
But, intent on getting Simmons, a source said the Kings are trying to find a way to acquire Harris, who’s also a power forward. They would either trade for him or find a third team willing to take Harris in a multi-team trade, according to a league source. At this time, the two sides have not gained any significant traction on a deal ahead of the Feb. 10 deadline.
The Kings have received an abundance of interest in Fox and second-year guard Tyrese Haliburton, but the internal plan is to build around those two cornerstones in the backcourt rather than shipping them out, sources said.
Use the Kings as an example. Sacramento is now reportedly open to making De’Aaron Fox and/or Tyrese Haliburton available in the right deals, and those aren’t equal propositions for Philadelphia. In all likelihood, sources say, a deal involving Fox would almost certainly have to be a three-team deal, moving Fox to another party in order to get what the Sixers think they need.
A report from The Athletic’s Sam Amick shut down most of the chatter regarding Haliburton’s availability, and in the latest episode of The Old Man and the Three, the 21-year-old addressed the situation directly with hosts JJ Redick and Tommy Alter. “I kind of just laugh about it,” Haliburton said when asked about the rumors. “I don’t really think it’s that realistic. I don’t see it happening.”
According to a source with knowledge of their situation, the Kings spoke to the Sixers weeks ago and made it clear that both De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton would not be included in a possible Simmons deal. That stance, the source said, has not and will not change and the internal expectation is that the core of their roster will remain the same heading into training camp later this month.
The 76ers were widely believed to be holding out for a chance to acquire Damian Lillard from the Portland Trail Blazers, but Lillard recently said he isn’t leaving Portland, “not right now at least.” As for Sacramento, sources have suggested the 76ers would only be willing to consider an offer that includes De’Aaron Fox or Tyrese Haliburton. The Kings are unlikely to part with either player, but they can offer Buddy Hield, a prolific 3-point shooter who would space the floor for Joel Embiid; Marvin Bagley III, a former No. 2 pick who has yet to reach his potential; and other assets, including multiple first-round draft picks.
Another source questioned why either team would make that deal, specifically saying it doesn’t do enough to address Philadelphia’s need for leadership. The source suggested the Kings could make a serious play for Simmons if they make De’Aaron Fox or Tyrese Haliburton available. Some believe the 76ers could make a move for Kyrie Irving, Bradley Beal or Damian Lillard instead.
July 3, 2022 | 4:34 am EDT Update
There’s an increasing possibility we’re going to find out. On top of ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reporting Friday that the Raptors are ‘lurking’ in the background of the Kevin Durant trade discussions that have held the NBA hostage in recent days, I can confirm that not only are the Raptors ‘lurking,’ but they also feel they can put together the best package of assets the Brooklyn Nets are likely to get.
There is also a sense – though it’s reading tea leaves at this stage, as teams can’t communicate directly with Durant, who remains under contract with the Nets – that the two-time champion and 11-time all-NBA force of nature is at least open to the possibility of playing in Toronto.
The Wolves also made several calls to Brooklyn on Kevin Durant, sources said, but the Nets were asking for established All-Stars and a mountain of picks. Minnesota was unwilling to part with either Edwards or Towns in a KD-centered deal, so there was no traction. Had they gotten more aggressive with San Antonio in talks for Dejounte Murray, they could have outbid Atlanta. But they didn’t, making it clear that they always valued Gobert more.
A league source told The Post any talk of a deal being close to done as premature. One reporter for The Athletic suggested Kendrick Nunn could be part of a larger deal, while another shot down the report altogether. Such is the chaos Kevin Durant’s trade demand has thrown the league into.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Mavs are looking into the possibility. “Kyrie Irving has several suitors involved Lakers, Sixers and Mavericks, keep an eye out in the next couple of weeks,” said Charania.
Nate Randle: An open letter to Rudy Gobert: You are the most respectful and considerate athlete I have ever had the pleasure of working with. As a former Utah Jazz employee and fan, you will be missed. I have spent 15+ years of my career in sports and have seen it all. Most don’t carry themselves as you do. When we launched the #TakeNote campaign, you were the first player to adopt it. When I said thanks for tweeting it, you sincerely asked me to tell the entire marketing team how much you loved it.
Every time we shot a commercial with you — you showed up on time and never asked to leave early. I can’t tell you how rare that is. When we asked you to “do another take” or “say a different line” – you never complained. I won’t forget the time we were recording voiceover lines. You paused and said, “Does it sound like I mean it because I want Jazz fans to know that I really care.”