7 Jakob Poeltl trades the Raptors must explore to maximize their rebuild

The Toronto Raptors should fully embrace their rebuild why they can, trading Jakob Poeltl in one of these seven deals to add prospects and draft picks.
Jakob Poeltl, Toronto Raptors
Jakob Poeltl, Toronto Raptors / David Jensen/GettyImages
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The Toronto Raptors have maneuvered themselves into a middle ground that may end up frustrating them in the short term and in the long term.

On the one hand, they are not a contending team. Scottie Barnes is a rising star but not a Top-30 player in the league yet, and while there is upside in their expected starting lineup it's a group that's unproven together. At the same time, Toronto didn't truly initiate a rebuild, prioritizing players who could play now in trades but also locking themselves into paying all of those players. RJ Barrett and Jakob Poeltl are on large contracts, Immanuel Quickley will receive one this summer and Scottie Barnes will likely begin a max contract in 2025.

What is the path forward? The most likely one is that the Raptors look to win with this group, adding talent around the margins this summer and letting this group gel together and prove themselves before making any sweeping changes. The problem with that approach is that their flexibility to significantly improve will be limited if they are on the fringes of the lottery each year.

One way to change their fate is to move on from Jakob Poeltl.

The Toronto Raptors should consider trading Jakob Poeltl

A number of teams appear to be in the market for a starting center this summer, and Jakob Poeltl is a proven rim-protector and on a multi-year contract. It is without question that he would have positive value around the league if traded. At the same time, the Raptors will likely need to find a starting center who can space the court to maximize the fit next to Scottie Barnes, and Poeltl is not quite elite as a defender and interior scoring to make it worth giving up that vision of a shooting 5.

Trading Poeltl now, while he has a strong market around the league, makes a lot of sense for Toronto to consider. It would likely mean another lottery season as the Raptors likely draft and develop his replacement at center, but with a strong draft next year that isn't the worst thing.

Who would trade for Poeltl? And what would the trade packages look like? Let's look at seven different teams that could be interested in Poeltl and build a trade from each, starting with an offer from Motor City.