Pacers GM hopeful Tyrese Haliburton next Reggie Miller after Kings trade

Pacers hope Haliburton next Reggie after 'win-win' Kings trade originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Could there be a mural of Tyrese Haliburton in downtown Indianapolis one day?

Indiana Pacers general manager Chad Buchanan seems to think so.

The executive recently revealed to Basketball News’ Alex Kennedy that the Pacers see Haliburton “as hopefully being the next Reggie Miller” after acquiring the former Kings player in a surprising February trade.

“We’re gonna build our team around him,” Buchanan told Kennedy. “... 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.”

Miller played his entire 18-year career with the Pacers while Haliburton arrived in Indiana before the 2022 NBA trade deadline after nearly two seasons in Sacramento with the team that drafted him. To be mentioned in the same sentence as the greatest Pacer of all time certainly is an honor, but Haliburton laughed when Kennedy called him the new face of the franchise.

“That’s so funny. It’s so funny just hearing you say that,” Haliburton told Kennedy. “The way I look at it, that’s not for me to decide. I guess that’s more for fans and media to decide who that is, and if people say it’s me, I guess I understand.”

Kings fans saw Haliburton as their own face of the franchise before he was sent to the Pacers along with Tristan Thompson and Buddy Hield on Feb. 8 for Domantas Sabonis, Justin Holiday, Jeremy Lamb, and a 2023 second-round pick.

The trade sent shockwaves throughout the NBA, but Buchanan explained exactly why the deal made sense for both teams in his interview with Kennedy: the Kings had an excess of guards, while the Pacers had a surplus of bigs.

The exchange made sense, he said, and both teams got valuable talent out of the trade.

“... Our needs and their needs kind of matched up, and the roster situation matched up as well,” Buchanan told Kennedy. “... 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.

“... 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."

RELATED: Pacers trade a 'blessing' Haliburton wants to make Kings regret

Sabonis will continue to serve as a key presence on a youthful Kings roster with players like Davion Mitchell and rookie Keegan Murray this season. In Indiana, perhaps the magic is just beginning for Haliburton.

After all, he told Kennedy he views the trade that initially left him in tears as a blessing now and wants to make the Kings regret the decision by playing well with the Pacers.

As for the mural, we’ll have to wait and see.