Boston is emerging as a Jakob Poeltl trade partner

San Antonio Spurs, Jakob Poeltl
San Antonio Spurs, Jakob Poeltl / Adam Glanzman/GettyImages

With both the Western and Eastern Conferences without a true frontrunner this season, teams from all over the Association are calling on the San Antonio Spurs for veteran talent to help push the better teams over the top. The Spurs are in a clear rebuild, and cleaning house in favor of younger talent and more draft capital doesn’t seem like the worst thing in the world as the franchise tries to right its course. Jakob Poeltl is by far the most desirable Spur on the trade market, as his two-way growth and defensive dominance make him a reliable starting center in the NBA today.

We’ve seen him linked to the Clippers and Golden State, but a team out East might soon pick up the phone. Defending Eastern Champions–the Boston Celtics–is a conventional big man away from forming a dynasty. Poeltl is only 27 years old and would complement Al Horford quite well, as Horford tends to be more of a shooter. Poeltl has been named as an ideal trade target for Boston all season; one problem is that the Celtics don’t seem interested

Spurs: Conflicting reports surround Poeltl and Celtics

It doesn’t make sense to me why Boston wouldn’t want to go after him. I get that they might not want to overpay for the center, but they could pick up the phone and see if the Spurs are willing to dance. Poeltl has flourished as a distributor over the last two seasons, which would just speed up Jayson Tatum’s ascension as an MVP-caliber player. 

Knowing that Boston won’t overpay, a deal might look something like this. The Spurs are asking for two first-round picks, but I’m not sure any team places his value that high. Maybe that’s why the Spurs are interested in resigning him and keeping him in the Alamo City. 

In return for taking on two players who will need to get bought out, the Spurs get three second-round picks, which could be used in smaller trades this summer, maybe to move into the first round. The Spurs also get an additional pick in 2025 to pair with the incoming pick from Chicago, allowing the Spurs to finish the rebuild in two years. 

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The Celtics part ways with two guys who are on the back end of their careers and have played in a combined 14 games this season. Is it the best deal for the Spurs? No, but an unprotected pick looks pretty good, even if the Celtics will be the team to beat in the future.