The 7-1 center is having the best season of his career and has established himself as the anchor of the Spurs' defense while also improving his offensive game. While it hasn't been leading to wins due to unbalanced performances by the team as a whole, his improvement is a great sign for the future.
According to salary cap expert and writer for HoopsHype Yossi Gozlan, the Spurs are getting much more than they bargained for with their contract for Poeltl. In an article highlighting hidden gems to start the season, Gozlan highlighted Jakob.
"While his presence is crucial for the Spurs on the defensive end, he’s opened up a lot of things for them offensively with his passing," he wrote. "He’s gone from a low-end starting center to one of the more middle-of-the-pack ones."
We've written plenty in the past about how valuable Poeltl is and how he's arguably even closer to a top 10 center in the past, but I'll accept middle-of-the-pack. Considering his contract, that's already a win in itself.
Jakob is making $8.75 million this season and is set to make $9.4 million next year. Using ProfitX, a tool used to evaluate the value of players compared to their pay, Gozlan broke it down.
"Poeltl has a real-time contract of $15.2 million, which is similar to the annual salary Jonas Valanciunas will receive on his newly signed extension," he said.
That figure says Jakob is pretty much playing double his worth this season. While that's certainly a welcome and positive development, it also means Poeltl is likely due for a decent raise with his next extension.
According to Yossi, Poeltl will be eligible for an extension in the 2022 offseason for up to four years projected at $58 million. If he keeps playing like he's been so far, that payday could soon be coming.