Raptors trade rumors: 3 quality big men on Western Conference teams

Dec 26, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; San Antonio Spurs center Jakob Poeltl (25) Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 26, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; San Antonio Spurs center Jakob Poeltl (25) Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Toronto Raptors need a shot in the arm as badly as any team with postseason aspirations in the league. Nick Nurse seems to be well aware of the fact that his style of play is being let down by the fact that Toronto lacks quality 3-point shooters and proven rim protectors.

Masai Ujiri needs to be very aware of the fact that failing at this trade deadline could have a ripple effect that lasts for multiple seasons. Acquisitions need to be made, but it would be foolish to part with valuable assets and multiple picks for a player that might leave after one season.

While it might be tough to get assets from Eastern Conference teams that are fighting with Toronto for a play-in spot, teams in the Western Conference might be more willing to wet Ujiri’s whistle. The Spurs gave the Raptors Thad Young last year, and another team might be in a deal-making mood.

The Raptors need to take a look at these three big men in the west, as they could help play parts in making Toronto a much more respectable offensive team with an infusion of height that they are clearly missing right now. Masai needs to start working those phones as soon as possible.

Toronto Raptors trade rumors: 3 Western Conference big men to target.

3. Jakob Poeltl, San Antonio Spurs

Poeltl has been the player that a good chunk of the fanbase has circled in on, despite the fact that he will likely cost a ton of draft capital to acquire and will not fix Toronto’s issues as a shooting team. Even with those qualifications, acquiring Poeltl might help fix the defense.

Poeltl is averaging 12.2 points and 8.9 rebounds per game while continuing to earn All-Defensive Team praise for his ability to lock down the paint despite poor support around him. Ujiri used a top-10 pick on him once upon a time, so he clearly admires his two-way skillset.

Will the Toronto Raptors land Jakob Poeltl?

Poeltl is a free agent after this season, which will make it hard to retain him long-term and somehow find a way to feel a deep, competitive team around Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes. However, few available big men fill Toronto’s need in as effective a manner as Poeltl would.

Poeltl isn’t getting out of San Antonio without giving up at least one first-round pick, so making this deal will be an extremely risky proposition. However, the need for a center is so dire that the Raptors may not have another choice if they want to improve via the trade market.