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Trading Fire: How Tyrese Haliburton Put Pascal Siakam’s Passion to the Test for Pacers

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Indiana is 31-25, putting them sixth in the East.

Indiana Pacers star Tyrese Haliburton tested the waters with Pascal Siakam even before they teamed up and was traded to the team on Jan. 17. Haliburton revealed this information on the show “The Woj Pod” with ESPN basketball insider Adrian Wojnarowski where he would say that they “had conversations a couple weeks before” the blockbuster trade happened.

“Me and Pascal talked, there was the rumors that he could get traded here, and we had a conversation a couple weeks before, and it was just kind of like, ‘hey I don’t know whats going to happen and neither of us really do, but I want to know do you really actually want to be here, tell me the truth, I’m not going to get offended,’” Haliburton said. “He’s not the first person that I’ve asked that question, I’ve asked people, ‘hey do you want to be in Indiana?’ And they just tell me no. Then I’m like thanks, because it makes me feel better, I can move on to the next.”

There is no doubt that the star point guard has a dedication to the Pacers organization as has said earlier in the season that not only does he want the team to be a place for other players to come to, but he wants to be a player a team builds around. So far this season, he is averaging 21.8 points and a whopping 11.7 assists per game, which is first in the entire association.

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What Siakam said to Haliburton about playing for the Pacers

Pacers' Pascal Siakam and Tyrese Haliburton with stars covering their eyes

Haliburton would go on to say what Siakam told him in response to his initial question of wanting to be Indiana and it was a positive one. Siakam would apparently say that he would be open to playing there and the “possibilities between” what those two can do on the floor would be exciting.

“So he was like, ‘yeah bro I want to be in Indy. I see there’s a lot of possibilities between what we could do on the floor and how we will connect and I’d be excited to go there,’” Haliburton said. “So we just had a dialogue and talked on the phone for 30 or 40 minutes.”

The former Toronto Raptors star had spent about seven and a half seasons with the organization until the eventual trade to the Pacers. On the season, he is averaging 22 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game while shooting 53.5 percent from the field.

So far, the Pacers are solid as they enter the All-Star break with a 31-25 record which puts them sixth in the Eastern Conference. Once they get back from break, they will face the Detroit Pistons on Feb. 22.

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