Kings trade for former Warriors Justin Holiday and Domantas Sabonis

At the end of 2021, for months, Domantas Sabonis was the subject of commercial speculation with the Golden State Warriors. Would the Warriors give up a young prospect to get him? Would Sabonis’ rebound and goal make up for his defensive shortcomings? Today a Northern California team ditched a promising young player to get Sabonis – but that was the Sacramento Kings.

the Indiana Pacers traded Sabonis, 25, a two-time All-Star, with Jeremy Lamb and Golden State Warriors legend Justin Holiday to the Kings in exchange for last year’s lottery pick Tyrese Haliburton with sniper Buddy Hield and Tristan Thompson, whose last relevant NBA moments involved taking cheap hits and yelling at Draymond Green while getting swept up in the 2018 Finals.

Thompson is likely just a salary filler in the trade, though it’s possible the Kings were simply doing Khloe Kardashian a favor by sending Thompson out of state.

The Kings also received a 2027 second-round pick in that deal, which means they’ll likely get a guy who wasn’t alive the last time Sacramento made the playoffs in 2006.

It’s a dramatic reshuffling of the Kings’ roster, who apparently decided Haliburton wasn’t a good fit alongside De’Aaron Fox and rookie Davion Mitchell, another Warriors front office favorite who lit up the Dubs last month. Sacramento seems to covet the same kind of players as the Warriors – Haliburton was a rumored target for the Warriors if they traded the second pick in 2020 – but they also like the former Warriors, with Harrison “The Black Falcon” Barnes and two-time champion Damian Jones already on the list. Vivek Ranadive was a minority owner of the Warriors before buying the Kings, so maybe he’s trying to recapture the #FullSquad magic.

Or maybe Vivek saw Justin Holiday stun the Warriors last month and decided he had to have it at all costs.

Sabonis certainly strengthens Sacramento’s forward field, averaging 18.9 points and 12.1 rebounds for Indiana this season, which has already dealt Caris Levert to Cleveland this week. The Kings could exit 2018 No. 2 pick Marvin Bagley before Thursday’s trade deadline. Bagley, who took a spot ahead of Luka Doncic and three ahead of Trae Young, fell out of rotation under former coach Luke Walton (also a former Warrior), and would appear to be redundant with Sabonis – plus he’s an agent free restricted. this summer. Now the Warriors can face Sabonis twice as often.

Holiday and Lamb are expected to have time off, with Holiday reconnecting with Kings head coach, former Warriors assistant Alvin Gentry. When it comes to Indiana, Haliburton is the big draw, leading Sin King’s minutes while averaging 14.3 points, 7.4 assists and 1.7 steals per game. He’s also shooting 41% from three-pointers and he’s 21. Why did Sacramento want to dump this guy again?

It’s another big step for Indiana as they go through a long-awaited takedown of their roster. Considering how well the Pacers’ reserves played in an overtime win over the Warriors in January, that might not be the worst idea. Buddy Hield improves Indiana’s abyssal long-range shooting, though he may be off-season trade bait. Hield shot 44% from three-point range against Golden State, so the Warriors are likely happy to kick him out of their division. It’s still possible that Indiana could move another Warriors trade target, Myles Turner, although it seems highly unlikely that he ends up at Chase Center.

The trade deadline is Thursday, Feb. 10 at 3:00 p.m. EST, so the Kings still have a few days to trade for Alfonzo McKinnie, Mychal Mulder and Eric Paschall.

About Laurence Johnson

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