Jakob Poeltl hasn’t played a single game for the San Antonio Spurs yet, but they’ve decided they want to keep him around through the 2019-20 season.
The headline acquisition of the Kawhi Leonard trade was certainly four-time All-Star DeMar DeRozan, but the San Antonio Spurs also got a first round pick and Jakob Poeltl in their deal with the Raptors.
Poeltl was the ninth overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, and he’s shown some promise during his first two NBA seasons in Toronto.
He only played 11.6 minutes per game as a rookie, but Poeltl was fairly productive in limited minutes scoring 3.1 points and grabbing 3.1 rebounds per night which extrapolates to 9.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per 36 minutes.
Poeltl took a significant leap in year two as he scored 6.9 points per game with 4.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 18.6 minutes per night. If you double those averages, you get a feel of what type of production he could potentially put up as a full-time starter.
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Poeltl may get the opportunity to start this season as Pau Gasol hinted that he’d be okay with coming off the bench at age 38 during San Antonio’s media day.
Poeltl seems to be a perfect player for the Spurs’ system under Gregg Popovich as he has fantastic basketball IQ paired with his strong defensive traits.
Being a top-ten pick gives Poeltl a pretty hefty salary for a rookie contract, but it seems like San Antonio didn’t bat an eye at picking up his fourth-year option before seeing him don a Spurs uniform.
Poeltl will earn $3.7 million during the fourth year of his deal in 2019-20, but that could be a steal if he develops into a solid starter this season.
San Antonio will decide whether to pick up the fifth-year option on Poeltl and DeJounte Murray’s contracts next offseason after handing each of them a fourth-year option on Thursday.
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There is still plenty of projection in the 22-year-old’s game, but Poeltl’s promising potential encouraged the Spurs to pick up the team option on his contract.