In his fifth season with the San Antonio Spurs, Jakob Poeltl's future with the team is a big question. The organization is at a crossroads with Poeltl and his involvement with the young core. The big man is currently in the last year of his three-year contract extension that he signed with the Spurs back in 2020. After this season, he'll be an unrestricted free agent and most likely choose to join a winning team.
San Antonio benefited a ton from having Poeltl as their starting center for the past four seasons. The Austrian big has averaged 8.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks while shooting over 62% from the field and 50% from the free throw line during his first four seasons with the Spurs. He's in his seventh NBA season and is yet to be on a winning team.
The Spurs organization wants the best for their players, whether it means the player achieving success with them or a different team. We saw that last summer when Dejounte Murray emerged as an All-Star, and the team realized that his success didn't coincide with the team's timeline. Poeltl won't probably be part of the Spurs' young core for the upcoming seasons. That's why I've narrowed down the three centers San Antonio could pursue during next year's free agency.
Of all the options available in next summer's free agency, Nikola Vucevic could be the best fit for San Antonio. At 32 years of age, he's on the older side and is an experienced big man in the NBA. Vucevic is currently having a down year with the Chicago Bulls and will be an unrestricted free agent next summer.
The Montenegrin big man has established himself as one of the more polished offensive threats down the block. With the Bulls this season, he's averaging 15.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 3.2 assists on 47.5% efficiency on the field. Unlike Poeltl, Vucevic can stretch the defense with his reliable outside shooting. But he's not a dependable interior defender, as he's only averaging less than a block this season for Chicago.
The Spurs could use someone like Vucevic, as he's an experienced player capable of adapting his game to the team's needs. The Bulls haven't offered him a contract extension yet, and it's likely to stay that way. San Antonio could snatch the two-time All-Star by giving him a two-year deal over the summer of 2023.