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Celtics Rumors: BOS Has 'Significant' Trade Interest in Jakob Poeltl; Raptors Linked

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 17, 2023

SAN ANTONIO, TX - JANUARY 15: Jakob Poeltl #25 of the San Antonio Spurs shoots a free throw during the game against the Sacramento Kings on January 15, 2023 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photos by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images)
Photos by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

At 13-31, the San Antonio Spurs are fully in a rebuilding phase, which means they could be sellers before the Feb. 9 NBA trade deadline.

And one player to keep an eye on is Jakob Poeltl. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the veteran center has "gained significant trade interest from teams such as the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics, according to league sources."

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski also reported over the weekend that there was a "lot of interest" in Poeltl around the NBA and that there were "a lot of teams, I think for San Antonio, that are going to make the kind of offers that they may want to move him."

Poeltl is having a solid season for the Spurs, averaging 12.3 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game while shooting 63.2 percent from the field.

Moving him now and gaining assets in return would make sense for the Spurs given that Poeltl will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer and likely won't come cheap.

Charania noted that the Spurs "have wanted the 27-year-old Poeltl as part of their long-term future but are balancing the risk of his price tag and potentially losing him for nothing in the summer."

Per that report, the team already has offered him the maximum extension he's available to sign, a four-year and $58 million deal. He reportedly has turned down that offer, likely seeking a bigger deal in the summer.

As for the Celtics, Poeltl would offer more depth in the frontcourt. Given Robert Williams III's injury history and Al Horford's age (36), having another solid option at center makes a lot of sense for Boston.

The Raptors, meanwhile, have often not even started a traditional center, hitting teams with a frontcourt of rangy and athletic wings in Pascal Siakam, O.G. Anunoby and Scottie Barnes.

While players like Chris Boucher (6'9") and Precious Achiuwa (6'8") come off the bench, both are undersized for the 5. And Christian Koloko has earned 19 starts, but the team has only trusted him with 15.6 minutes per game.

Suffice it to say, a traditional center like Poeltl—who started his career in Toronto—would make a lot of sense for the Raptors.