Toronto Raptors Interested In Trade To Bring Back Jakob Poeltl

Jakob Poeltl, Toronto Raptors, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The Toronto Raptors have been playing some great basketball recently as the NBA trade deadline nears. They were four games under the .500 mark heading into December and were unable to get much traction throughout the month, as they were still three games under .500 nearing the end of the month.

But, something clicked in the last few days of December. The team went on a six-game winning streak and they have won seven of their last nine games.

That has vaulted the Raptors back into the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference with a record of 21-19. But, they will have to keep playing well if they want to hold onto a spot even in the NBA Play-In Tournament.

Toronto is as close to being in 12th place as they are to being in first place, as the playoff race in the Eastern Conference will be a hotly contested one. Looking to keep pace, the Toronto Raptors are trending toward being buyers ahead of the NBA trade deadline.

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One area where they could use some help is at the center position. According to Marc Stein on his Substack, one player to keep an eye on is Jakob Poeltl of the San Antonio Spurs. Poeltl was the ninth overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft out of Utah by the Raptors, as he spent the first two seasons of his NBA career north of the border.

Although it faces luxury-tax constraints that limit its ability to make moves, at less than $300,000 below the tax line, Toronto is said to have interest in reacquiring center Jakob Poeltl from San Antonio. The Raptors’ recent 11-4 surge propelled them into Eastern Conference playoff contention, and they have been looking for center upgrades for some time.

The price to land Jakob Poeltl could be relatively steep. He is in the midst of a breakout season, averaging multiple career highs. His 12.1 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists would all be new career bests. Poeltl is averaging 0.7 steals and 1.5 blocks per game as well, providing some defensive presence.

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It would likely take some time for Nick Nurse to figure the rotation out in the frontcourt inserting Poeltl along with Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes. Could OG Anunoby be someone that the team looks to move, with Barnes taking over as the starting small forward should a center be acquired?

It will be something worth keeping an eye on. The Raptors are in a good position, as they were expected to have a rebuilding season, but looks like they will be competing for a playoff spot. Poeltl, who is signed through 2023, would be a solid addition to Toronto.

While he may not have as high of a ceiling as someone such as Christian Wood, he won’t cost nearly as much. The Toronto Raptors would be able to stay on course acquiring a player of Jakob Poeltl’s caliber, improving in the middle without breaking the bank.