2. Jakob Poeltl
While Masai Ujiri raised some eyebrows earlier in the offseason when he called Poeltl, who averaged 13.1 points and 9.1 rebounds per game with Toronto last season, a top-10 center in the league, that statement looks better the more one looks across the league.
Signing Poeltl to a four-year contract worth just under $80 million shows that Toronto very much believes in the impact Poeltl can have on this team. While he arrived too late to help the Raptors make it to the playoffs, Toronto was clearly a much better team when Poeltl was the center.
Jakob Poeltl changed the Toronto Raptors on defense.
While he doesn’t dominate the ball, Poeltl has proven to be one of the most efficient finishers at any position in the league. Not just a lumbering big, Poeltl’s mobility and passing will be an asset for a Raptors team that needs to figure out ways to become more effective on the offensive end.
Poeltl’s defense borders on All-Defensive level, as the combination of shot-blocking, mobility, and physicality makes him worthy of that Top 10 designation. If Rajakovic runs a scheme similar to what we saw in Memphis, Poeltl could be a younger version of Steven Adams.