Jakob Poeltl is the kind of quality rotation center that can help a team. For example, plug him in with the Celtics and he gives them a solid option for the nights Robert Williams III could miss, plus he helps keep the minutes down for Al Horford. He would make the best team in the NBA this season better.
Two first-round picks better?
That’s the question facing teams interested in the Spurs’ Poeltl, according to reports out of The Athletic. Ideally the Spurs want to keep Poeltl, but he wants to compete in the playoffs and the Spurs are rebuilding, so the fit is not there, Shams Charania reports.
Spurs center Jakob Poeltl has gained significant trade interest from teams such as the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics, according to league sources… San Antonio will be able to offer more to Poeltl in the offseason and is slated to have in excess of $50 million in salary-cap space. Rival executives believe Poeltl will approach the $20 million per year range in a new deal during the offseason. There’s no question the Spurs will hold a high price threshold for any deal involving Poeltl.
That price, according to Jared Weiss, is two first-round picks.
The sticking point has been, as always, price. San Antonio has made it known to interested parties throughout the league the Spurs want two first-round picks for Poeltl, according to team and league sources, which was the same stance they took on Derrick White last season. The Celtics were able to acquire White for what ended up being the 25th pick in the most recent draft and a first-overall protected pick swap in 2028.
It seems a longshot the Spurs would get two first-round picks for a free agent to be. A first and a pick-swap, maybe. A first and a second, now that’s more likely, so long as that team believes it can re-sign Poeltl (likely for the three-year, $70 million range).
Poeltl is averaging 12.3 points a game on 63.4% shooting, plus he is pulling down 9.3 rebounds a game and is playing decent defense. He should be more than a backup in the NBA, but would he accept a smaller role to win (as long as he got paid)? The Celtics may find out. Or, maybe Poeltl is the first step in a roster shift coming to Toronto.
Or, maybe the Clippers or another team a little off the radar steps in and makes a move. Whatever it may be, there will be a lot of Poeltl rumors for the next three weeks.