The San Antonio Spurs have never really been a big player when it comes to midseason trades. In the last decade, they shipped off Kawhi Leonard and Dejounte Murray in blockbuster deals, but those were both in the offseason. As the unofficial start to trade season comes, the Spurs have a few players that any team in the league would want to add, but only one that will probably get moved: Jakob Poeltl.
The 27-year-old center has shown improvement every year in the silver and black and is a double-double machine. He can move the ball and defend the rim, but I would hardly call him a modern big, as he rarely scores outside the paint. We’ve been writing about his suitors all season, but Jake Fischer from Yahoo Sports seems to think that there is a possibility that Poeltl could remain in Alamo City long-term.
According to Fischer, Poeltl is strongly considering resigning, but his words suggest that he will enjoy free agency and all the benefits that come with it.
““I’ve never been in this situation where unrestricted free agency is coming up. It’s a cool situation for sure because in the NBA, a lot of times you are — I don’t want to say stuck — but it feels like you ‘re a little bit of a pawn…So it’s nice to be in this situation where you can kind of decide your own fate and evaluate what’s going to be the best situation for me.””
– Jakob Poeltl (via Yahoo)
It sounds like Jakob wants to be wined and dined, and he deserves it.
If Poeltl wants to buy into the rebuild culture and be a focal point moving forward, I honestly think he could be a starter on the roster for several seasons, even if the Spurs land Victor Wembanyama. The two could play in the frontcourt with Vassell and Johnson on the wings, Sochan could be the sixth man, or Vassell could shift to become the primary ball handler. The possibilities are endless.
On the other hand, I fully understand if Poeltl wants to play on a more successful team. I also think that the Spurs could easily get a first-round pick back, and if they flip him soon, the move could make everyone happy. Toronto, the Clippers, and Portland all seem to be reasonable destinations for the Austrian big man.
Poeltl is the best center on the trade market right now. Embiid, Jokic, Adebayo, Davis, and Sabonis aren’t going anywhere, and Poeltl may have even surpassed Rudy Gobert.
I see the current Poeltl situation as a win-win. I’m not opposed to him staying long-term, but I think his value has hit a peak, and the Spurs could cash in. Still criminally underrated, I would expect the eyes of the NBA world to peer at San Antonio and for teams to start dialing Brian Wright’s number.