Jakob Poeltl had by far the best season of his career. If you ignore his absolute inability to make a free throw, he racked up career highs in every single statistical category. Fans knew he could be a fringe All-Defensive selection and make some noise with his shot-blocking ability, but he has turned a corner and emerged as one of the best two-way centers in the league.
He can move the ball and hit layups and floaters, and he has not compromised any of his defensive prowess.
If we put Giannis, Jokic, Embiid, and Gobert in the top tier of NBA bigs, you could easily claim that Poeltl belongs in the second tier with Anthony Davis (assuming he is not at full health, which is a safe bet), Bam Adebayo, and Jarrett Allen. While he is not an All-Star like those guys, he is one of the most consistent centers in the league.
Jakob Poeltl could be the big man of the future and the anchor in the paint for several seasons. He is not safe from a trade, but after an average outing last season, he has taken a huge step forward and earned the starting spot for as long as he suits up for the silver and black.
The only issue with his game is his shooting. Sure, he is yet to miss a three this season, but with only one attempt it would appear he is terrified of pulling up from deep. He shot an abysmal 49.5% from the charity stripe and won’t even shoot from midrange. None of this was expected, but moving forward, it would be nice if he could at least shoot 50% from the line and extend his range a little bit.
Grade: A -