One of the San Antonio Spurs’ new acquisitions, Jakob Poeltl, commented on the praise Charles Barkley provided for him.
Jakob Poeltl joined the San Antonio Spurs as the less heralded part of the trade that brought in DeMar DeRozan, while Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green went to the Toronto Raptors. It marked a change two years after the Raptors selected the Austrian big man from Utah, with two years of backup experience to Jonas Valanciunas completed.
Poeltl only started four games in Toronto, but in a less stable center situation in San Antonio, could a larger opportunity arise in the 2018-19 season?
According to Desert News, in Poeltl’s first media appearance as a Spur, he spoke on the praise NBA legend Charles Barkley gave him after the mid-July trade, including being called one of the most underrated players in the league:
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“Underrated, overrated, it really doesn’t matter that much to me,” Poeltl said. “There’s going to be guys that really don’t rate you as a player … that praise you into the heavens. For me I really don’t try to pay too much attention to that. I just worry about myself, worry about my own game.”
Poeltl mostly played off the praise, but it’s still high remarks from Barkley, who also said he’s a “really good player off the bench.”
Poeltl had limited starting experience with the Raptors, but with an aging Pau Gasol and a younger team in the works, could he find a larger opportunity in the 2018-19 campaign? Gasol started 63 games after just 39 the year before, potentially due to the lack of viable options behind him at center, but that’s obviously not the case anymore.
The Spurs will receive their look at Poeltl in training camp, when the roster comes together before the preseason in late September. After that, San Antonio fans will see what he can do in regular season action in October.