Here at Air Alamo, we’ve spent most of the season suggesting that the San Antonio Spurs can be the center of the NBA world come the trade deadline. With Doug McDermott, Josh Richardson, and Jakob Poeltl commanding interest, the Spurs are the ideal trade partner, especially since they can take back unfriendly contracts to allow contenders to keep grinding through the postseason.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Spurs are receiving significant offers for Poeltl but aren’t eager to trade him away. He is eligible for a four-year, $58 million extension, but his market value is considerably higher. If the Spurs land Victor Wembanyama, they would want to hold onto him to maintain the starting center job, with Wembanyama slotting over to the power forward spot and have him work outside the paint.
A starting lineup of Tre Jones, Devin Vassell, Keldon Johnson, Wembanyama, and Poeltl, with Branham and Sochan coming off the bench, is a dream come true for Spurs fans, especially if they can keep either McDermott or Richardson to round out the bench unit. Even if the Spurs don’t win the draft lottery, keeping Poeltl as a pick-and-roll piece as the Spurs start to become a winning team is not a bad strategy.
Woj: Spurs recieving "significant offers" for Jakob Poeltl
The Spurs have money to spend, and the disappointing 2023 free agent class could deter the Spurs from spending outside of the organization. They could be the first team calling to resign Poeltl, even if they don’t add A-1 talent in the draft.
If Wojnarowski is correct and the Spurs are receiving “significant offers,” then I would say that the teams calling are offering more than the two-pick asking price set by the front office. It’s hard to believe that teams are including a young player with their picks, but I think Spurs fans would be elated if a deal like this went through.
I haven’t seen any reports that the Knicks are interested in Poeltl, but the proposed trade above does a decent job of showing what a “significant offer” would look like. A young player who still has promise in Reddish, two future picks that would probably fall within the 12-20 range, and a solid veteran who is overpaid.
This means the Spurs have two solid options. Roll the dice in the draft lottery and pair Wembanyama with Poeltl down low, or trade him for more than he’s currently worth. If the Spurs lose the lottery, they could resign him, as he is a solid two-way center. That being said, there’s only a 14% chance the Spurs win the lottery, so trading him is the safe bet, and with offers like that, it would be hard to say no.