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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No. 4: Jakob Poeltl traded to the Orlando Magic

The Orlando Magic have established a core of three two-way players all of a similar age and all growing into large roles. Paolo Banchero was already an All-Star in his second season, Franz Wagner has a versatile skillset and Jalen Suggs was one of the league's best defensive guards and improved significantly as a 3-point shooter.

Now the question is who will be the final two starters to pair long-term with that core? The Magic have started Wendell Carter Jr. the past few seasons as a competent starting 5, but they did enough tinkering with his role this past year that they are likely looking for an upgrade. That could come from within, but Mo Wagner played better off the bench, Goga Bitadze has limited upside and Jonathan Isaac is too injury-prone to be relied on for all that his defense is otherworldly.

Enter Jakob Poeltl, a mountain to plug into the starting lineup to give Banchero and Wagner the support they need. The Magic were one of the league's best defensive team last year and would lean into that identity with Poeltl in place, and while they will begin getting expensive over the next few years, Poeltl's $20 million is something they can manage for a couple of seasons.

Here's what a simple deal with Orlando could look like:

Magic Poeltl Carter No. 18

Wendell Carter Jr. would be an excellent starting center for the Raptors to plug in next to Scottie Barnes. He is a willing 3-point shooter, hitting 37.4 percent of his outside shots last year, and a good defender with a versatile skillset. He isn't an elite shot-blocker, but between he and Barnes the Raptors would have a high enough floor not to be shredded on that end.

Carter is also on a bargain deal, making just under $12 million this season and $10.8 million next year, giving the Raptors the flexibility to spend elsewhere. Add in the No. 18 pick and this deal would be an excellent fit and value for Toronto.

Grade: A-