Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton is blossoming into a star guard in the NBA. As Indiana looks to rebuild, it looks like they've found their building block.
Tyrese Haliburton was acquired by the Pacers during the 2021-22 regular season. To acquire Haliburton, the Pacers moved big man Domantas Sabonis to the Sacramento Kings.
It was a move that sent shockwaves throughout the NBA. Haliburton looked to be blossoming in Sacramento, and many questioned the mindset of both teams.
However, the trade has worked out for both teams so far.
Appearing on an episode of The Hoop Collective podcast with Brian Windhorst, NBA analyst Kirk Goldsberry went on to praise Haliburton.
Goldsberry spoke about how Haliburton has been impressive this year, comparing him to Phoenix Suns superstar Chris Paul:
"He's not the defender that Chris [Paul] was but dude, everything else is eerily similar. I mean, this guy is the best young shot creator in pro basketball, that's it. If you want to go through the conventional metric, he leads the league in assists...he's creating over 26 shots per game for the Pacers."
"Those [shots he creates] lead to 29 Points a game for his team. In addition to this, the points he scores. He is unusually great at creating three-point looks for his teammates. And then, when you look at him as a scorer himself, he's able to create very smart, very good shots for himself."
Goldsberry went on to explain why he thinks Haliburton could serve as the building block for a franchise that hasn't had championship success since 1973:
"Among the league's top 50 unassisted scorers, he's sixth in efficiency right now. He's an offensive machine and the Pacers are good to have him as a foundation. I think that him and [Bennedict] Mathurin are the best young backcourt in the league."
Tyrese Haliburton shining for the Indiana Pacers
Still just 22 years old, the sky looks to be the limit for Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton. The basketball IQ and playmaking ability of Haliburton has stood out in a major way this season.
He was drafted 12th overall in the 2020 NBA draft. Haliburton has the vision and overall feel for the game that singles him out for future greatness. After being acquired by the Pacers last season, Haliburton played 26 games with his team.
During that stretch, he went on to average 17.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 9.6 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. He shot 50.2% from the field and 41.6% from three-point range.
This year, Haliburton has had an outstanding start. He's currently averaging 19.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 11.1 assists per game. Haliburton is shooting 47.7% from the field and 37.8% from three-point range.
With Haliburton and rookie wing Bennedict Mathurin blossoming, the future looks bright for the Indiana Pacers.