4. Jakob Poeltl, San Antonio Spurs
Poeltl, a former Raptors draft pick who was sent to the Spurs in the Kawhi Leonard deal, is almost a lock to be traded before the deadline. Not only does San Antonio have as good a chance as any team to land Wembanyama, but they have a young big in Jeremy Sochan who needs to be given minutes.
Poeltl averaged 13.5 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game in a year where he probably should have made an All-Defensive team. Finally breaking out in his age-26 season, Poeltl will help a very young Spurs team load up on picks for the 2023 class and beyond, while the Raptors could get a starting-caliber center.
Jakob Poeltl could thrive with the Toronto Raptors.
While the development of Christian Koloko might help the Raptors decide to lean into their youth movement rather than add an established starter, Poeltl is different from most vets because he will be familiar with the Raptors’ schemes and make an immediate defensive impact.
The fact that Poeltl is a free agent at the end of this season and isn’t even making eight figures this year might make him more attractive, as Toronto wouldn’t have to break the bank and could let him go after this season if it doesn’t work out. Unfortunately, the Raptors won’t be the only team with eyes on Poeltl.