The NBA trade deadline is a little more than two weeks away and a team source tells me that the San Antonio Spurs are very active on the trade market. The insider says that the Spurs are talking to more than half a dozen teams about trades involving Jakob Poeltl. San Antonio is also fielding calls for Josh Richardson and Doug McDermott but for now, at least, most of the attention is on Poeltl.
On the season, the center from Austria is averaging 12.2 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 26.3 minutes per game. Poeltl is shooting 63% from the field and 58.2% from the free throw line. Over his last 15 games, he has improved his free throw shooting to 68%.
Since training camp, SpursTalk has exclusively reported on multiple occasions that the Spurs are requesting two first round draft picks in any trade involving Poeltl. Recently, other outlets have confirmed that is indeed San Antonio’s asking price. According to the team source I talked to, the Spurs don’t plan to budge from requiring two first rounders to complete a Poeltl trade.
-Six weeks ago, SpursTalk reported that the Toronto Raptors were serious about acquiring Poeltl. According to two league sources, the Raptors remain focused on completing a trade for Poeltl and their offers to the Spurs have been described as “increasingly aggressive.”
While Toronto is said to have multiple trade offers on the table for Poeltl, a league source told me that the offer that has gained the most traction so far is a three-team trade that also involves Gary Trent Jr.
-The Boston Celtics are another team that multiple league sources say are very interested in trading for Poeltl. The Celtics reportedly see Poeltl as the perfect fit to fortify their frontcourt as they gear up for a championship push.
I’ve been told that Boston’s latest offer for Poeltl includes a completely unprotected 2028 first round pick. Currently, the Spurs have the option to swap first round picks with the Celtics in 2028 as long the pick isn’t the first overall selection. That pick swap was acquired by San Antonio as part of the Derrick White trade.
In this proposed Poeltl deal, the Spurs would get the 2028 first round pick outright and the first overall pick protection would be dropped.
-Two surprising teams that are active in Poeltl trade talks are the New Orleans Pelicans and the Portland Trail Blazers. The Pelicans and Blazers have notable centers in Jonas Valanciunas and Jusuf Nurkic, respectively, however both teams have inquired about Poeltl’s availability.
Scouts I’ve spoken with speculate that the Pelicans and Blazers may see Poeltl as a better fit due to the fact that teams continue to evolve away from centers who need touches in the low post to be effective.
-Interestingly, a team insider says that talks between the Spurs and the Los Angeles Lakers that involve Russell Westbrook are still alive. Those talks have been on the back burner for a couple months but I’ve been told that both the Lakers and Spurs remain open to the possibility depending on how the next two weeks play out prior to the trade deadline.
In addition to Poeltl, the Lakers are said to be interested in Josh Richardson and Doug McDermott.
-Speaking of Richardson and McDermott, the Spurs aren’t in a hurry to deal either player. San Antonio values the veteran leadership both players provide to the team.
The Spurs have made it known that they want a first round pick for Richardson. The asking price for McDermott isn’t as clear, however a source close to the team says the Spurs will want something of value in return.
“Dougie won’t be traded for a second round pick, I can tell you that,” said the source.
-According to a source who works for an NBA agent, talks between the Spurs and the Golden State Warriors have hit a dead end. The Spurs aren’t interested in James Wiseman or Jonathan Kuminga, so a trade with the Warriors involving Poeltl is very unlikely.
-A scout for a team in the Western Conference told me that he believes that the Dallas Mavericks are the dark horse in the Poeltl sweepstakes.
“[Poeltl] would be a talent upgrade in a position of need and he’d be a great fit for Luka’s read-and-react style,” the scout explained.
That said, I haven’t heard of any trade discussions between the Spurs and the Mavs on the Poeltl front.
-What will happen if the Spurs don’t trade Poeltl? A team insider says the Spurs continue to be interested in re-signing him. He becomes an unrestricted free agent in the summer.
Whispers around the league indicate that Poeltl’s agent is very confident that his client will get at least $80 million over four years in free agency. For that reason, it has become unlikely that Poeltl will sign the four-year, $58 million extension the Spurs can offer right now.
Once free agency begins, the Spurs can offer Poeltl more money. Would they be willing to go as high as $80 million? It’s possible — especially if the Spurs get the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft to begin the Victor Wembanyama era.