The Toronto Raptors have been the subject of many trade rumors in the last few weeks, though most of them have centered around OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam. Is there a chance the Raptors end up putting center Jakob Poeltl on the market once again?
This would have seemed preposterous just a few months ago, as the Raptors gave Poeltl a four-year contract worth around $80 million and handed him the designation of “top 10 center.” However, he hasn’t lived up to billing despite once again being a very efficient center who has shown competence on both ends
With the Raptors lacking in spacing and seeing a sharp decline on the defensive side of the ball, it’s fair to wonder if Masai Ujiri will recognize the problems this team has and try to deal Poeltl away. Even after a down Raptors year, Poeltl still has a ton of value.
Should Poeltl become available again, a legit site bidding war between contenders could come to fruition. However, the Raptors could create a whole new set of problems that Ujiri will need to address. For all his faults, Poeltl remains extremely productive in multiple key areas.
Pros and Cons of Toronto Raptors discussing Jakob Poeltl trade.
The Raptors clearly have a problem with adequate spacing, and putting someone out on the floor that isn't a threat to even look at the basket from anywhere outside of 12 feet away from the basket isn't helping. Poeltl doesn't seem like a fit in Darko Rajakovic's offense.
Poeltl is a solid defensive center and an excellent finisher, but his overall defensive and offensive outputs this season have generally not been what Toronto may have expected. The offense doesn't flow as freely with him on the floor, and the defense hasn't been as sharp as it was last season.
The Toronto Raptors could reboot by trading Jakob Poeltl.
The Raptors are paying Poeltl $20 million per season, and he's not playing like a $20 million per year player. Trading him could not only bring back a solid return, but could give them more financial flexibility as they try to pay names like OG Anunoby and Scottie Barnes.
Toronto could invest in shooters with the money saved while getting a center that is still functional, if less expensive. The Raptors might also be able to recoup some draft capital, as they currently do not have any picks in their possession for the 2024 NBA Draft.