By Tommy Matthews

When the Indiana Pacers traded for Pascal Siakam at the deadline, the plan was always to re-sign the free agent to be and keep him next to Tyrese Haliburton.

They plan to do that with a max contract, which would be five years and $245 million, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.

This is not a surprise to anyone around the league, there has never been speculation Siakam wanted to test the market and the only question was if the Pacers would try to get him to take a discount. That apparently is not going to happen.

Siakam averaged 21.3 points and 7.8 rebounds a game while shooting 38.6% from 3 after coming over to the Pacers. More importantly, he was a massive boost to the struggling Indiana defense (which was basically league average with him, a vast improvement). He also helped lead the Pacers to the Eastern Conference Finals averaging 21.6 points and 7.5 rebounds a game this postseason.

With Siakam getting a max contract and Tyrese Haliburton making All-NBA, so he qualifies for a Rose Rule supermax (30% of the cap), the Pacers will be expensive in the coming years. Myles Turner is on the books for $19.9 million next season and there will be costly extensions in a few years for players such as Andrew Nembhard and Bennedict Mathurin.

Still, those are First-World NBA problems, and the Pacers will happily deal with them if Siakam keeps them near the top of the East in the coming weeks.

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