Celtics Rumors: Spurs Want 2 1st-Round Draft Picks in Jakob Poeltl Trade

Doric SamJanuary 18, 2023

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - JANUARY 09: Jakob Poeltl #25 of the San Antonio Spurs during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum on January 09, 2023 in Memphis, Tennessee. 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. (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
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The Boston Celtics are reportedly interested in acquiring San Antonio Spurs center Jakob Poeltl ahead of the Feb. 9 trade deadline, but there has been a significant holdup in their pursuit of a deal.

According to The Athletic's Jared Weiss, San Antonio's price tag for Poeltl is high, as the team "has made it known to interested parties throughout the league" that it will seek two first-round picks in exchange for the seven-year veteran.

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported Tuesday that the Celtics are believed to have "significant" interest in Poeltl, as do the Toronto Raptors. The 27-year-old is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, and the Spurs likely don't want to let him walk away without receiving anything in return.

Weiss noted that San Antonio had a similar asking price for Derrick White last season, and Boston wound up acquiring him for a first-round pick in the 2022 draft, a first-overall-protected pick swap in 2028, Josh Richardson and Romeo Langford.

The Celtics have a big-man rotation that consists of Robert Williams III, Grant Williams, Al Horford and Luke Kornet. Poeltl would likely be a backup with Boston's unit, but he would provide some depth as Robert Williams is still working back into form after a knee injury and Horford is 36 and could use some relief as the season wears on.

Poeltl has started all 36 games he's played this season and is averaging 12.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.3 blocks and is shooting 63.4 percent from the field. His rebound and assist numbers are career highs. While he is trending upward and could be a solid foundational piece for the Spurs, they have their eyes set on a bigger fish.

At 14-31, San Antonio is likely headed toward its fourth straight year without a playoff appearance. If the team finishes high in the draft lottery, it will have the chance at landing star prospect Victor Wembanyama, who is projected to be a franchise-altering talent.

If the Spurs choose to hold on to Poeltl, they could offer him a big-money contract this summer to keep him in the fold as their rim protector for years to come.