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Tyrese Haliburton commits to people. Now, he's committed to the Indiana Pacers

Haliburton signed a five-year extension with the Pacers

Tyrese Haliburton is going to be with the Indiana Pacers for a long time.

The All-Star point guard signed a contract extension with the franchise on Thursday, and it's a full five years in length. The deal could be worth as much as $260 million, depending on certain performance incentives being met and the growth of the salary cap next season.

The Indiana Pacers now have their guy. Haliburton is an All-Star, leader, long-range threat, shot creator, identity setter, and so much more. He's also only 23-years old. The Wisconsin native has room to grow into more for the Pacers.

"We did a trade a year-and-a-half ago... we did it because we felt like there was a player in Ty who had an 'it' factor," Pacers President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard said of Haliburton when announcing the extension.

There are countless reasons that Haliburton is worth his contract for Indiana. At the top of the list is his talent. The Iowa State product averaged 20.7 points and 10.4 assists per game this past season, and he shot better than 40% from long range. No player in the NBA last year shot better than 40% from deep and averaged at least eight assists per game aside from Haliburton. His ability to create shots for others and bury jumpers from beyond the arc makes him a nearly-impossible cover.

Stats also sell Haliburton's impact short. He sets the Pacers identity with his talents. They are a team that shines in transition, and that is thanks to Haliburton's brilliance. The blue and gold average fewer seconds per offensive possession with Haliburton on the floor, and they added two players in Bruce Brown and Obi Toppin this summer that pair well with that style. Indiana wants to lean in to Haliburton's gifts in the open floor.

"When I saw the stat about the effective field goal percentage in transition with those three guys, that was an a-ha moment. It makes all these moves make perfect sense," Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said of the Pacers extending Haliburton while also trading for Obi Toppin and signing Bruce Brown. The roster is meant to dominate on fast breaks.

While Haliburton's skill and ability to elevate his team make him worthy of a maximum contract, there is more that makes him the perfect player for Indiana to invest in. As a franchise partner, Haliburton has to invest back in the team.

"My biggest thing is that I want to make the organization happy," Haliburton said after signing the extension. "The way to do that is to win... I want to make the playoffs and I want to bring winning basketball back here."

Winning in the playoffs will make Haliburton worth every penny. The Pacers haven't won in the postseason in over five years. But the guard is more than just a talent worth committing to. He's a franchise cornerstone, and one that will commit back to the blue and gold.

That's rare in the modern NBA. Stars move teams often. James Harden and Damian Lillard have reportedly requested trades in the last few weeks. But Haliburton, at this juncture, doesn't look like someone who will change his plans. He's with the Pacers, the organization that invested in him, for the long haul.

"Sometimes in this business, you get great players. Sometimes in this business, you get great humans. And then sometimes, you get both. We have both with [Haliburton]," Pritchard said.

Haliburton committing to the blue and gold is nothing new. Instead, it follows the pattern of behavior he has shown throughout all of his life and in basketball. He commits to his people.

At the press conference conducted to announced Haliburton's extension, he went out of his way to thank his family, girlfriend, and close friends for getting him to this point in his life. He held back tears discussing his mom, who attended as many of his games growing up as possible. Many close to Tyrese Haliburton committed to him growing up, and he's pouring back into them.

From eighth grade until his senior year of high school, Haliburton stuck with his AAU team, Wisconsin United. Throughout that time, he had chances to move on to more established programs, but he stuck with his group. Even as he grew into a player worthy of Division I attention, he remained with Wisconsin United.

After being drafted by the Sacramento Kings, a franchise that only recently turned its fortunes after several bad campaigns, Haliburton wanted to bloom with the Kings and turn the ship around. He latched on with the Sacramento community and was gutted to be traded.

"It's scary. I put a lot of love, a lot of trust into Sacramento and kind of immersed myself with the community and with the people. They just got rid of me," Haliburton said after the trade. "That's part of the business. I think that's part of my best trait. It's somebody who just loves hard... It hurt when I got traded because I loved being there and I loved the people. Coming [to Indiana] I'm going to do the same thing." He added that he's going to put everything he's got into the Pacers.

The Pacers now have a player with that makeup on their roster. Haliburton wants to be that person for the franchise.

It's obvious in the locker room. Haliburton's teammates, friends, and even other Pacers staff members each have a unique relationship with the guard. He connects with everyone and is never too big for an interaction.

"I think he's great. He's unselfish, he's a leader. He can flat out shoot the basketball," Pacers assistant coach Jannero Pargo said of Haliburton. "But what I love most about him is that he's just super smart. He not only thinks his positon, but he thinks for the other four guys out there on the floor. And that makes us a better team."

That playstyle demonstrates Haliburton's emotional intelligence and his commitment to his team. He wants everyone to play well and is team-first at every turn on the court. Off the court, that mentality remains.

He's the ideal young franchise player, and the Pacers gave him a contract that reflects that. Haliburton hopes to pay it back to the franchise, like he has done to everyone throughout his life.

  • Bruce Brown can be whatever the Indiana Pacers need him to be. CLICK HERE.
  • Tyrese Haliburton to sign five-year, $260 million contract extension with the Indiana Pacers. CLICK HERE.
  • Obi Toppin discusses joining the Indiana Pacers, how he will fit in, and more. CLICK HERE.
  • Indiana Pacers wing Chris Duarte officially traded to Sacramento Kings for two second-round draft picks. CLICK HERE.
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