Predicting where each Toronto Raptors’ free agent will play in 2023-24

TORONTO, ON - MARCH 18 (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MARCH 18 (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors: Jakob Poeltl
PHILADELPHIA, PA – MARCH 31 (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Jakob Poeltl – Toronto Raptors

After being dealt away from Toronto in the 2018 Kawhi Leonard trade, Jakob Poeltl was brought back to the Raptors at the trade deadline this past season. After 26 games, the big man is set to hit free agency, and there are questions about his future.

ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Subscription required) has reported that the center does not want to be in a rebuilding situation next year. When free agency rolls around, it seems likely that the Raptors will make him a strong offer as they aim to run it back as much as possible next season.

Will Jakob Poeltl stay with the Toronto Raptors?

The Raptors clearly like Poeltl, having drafted him ninth overall in 2016 and then giving up a nice package to get him back this past season. It’s justifiable, as the center has developed into a solid young player who can score and protect the rim with force. At 27 years old, he’s about to begin his prime and could be Toronto’s starting center of the future.

It would be odd if Toronto, who have struggled with center depth over the past few years and gave up a first-rounder to get Poeltl, let him go. Keeping him will cost a nice chunk of change, as he could get more than $20 million annually on his next deal, but the Raptors’ front office might not have a choice. It will not be surprising if the big man inks a new contract with Toronto.