With the Boston Celtics committed to big men Al Horford and Robert Williams III, they’re unlikely to trade for San Antonio Spurs center Jakob Poeltl prior to the NBA Trade Deadline.
“League sources outside of the Boston organization downplayed the likelihood of a Poeltl acquisition,” reports The Athletic’s Jay King.
King adds that “if the Spurs do deal him, the impending free agent would make more sense somewhere he is a better long-term fit. With Horford and Williams each signed through at least the 2024-25 season, Boston likely has no room to commit to Poeltl as a starter on a big, long-term contract.”
Poeltl, the ninth overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, is averaging 12.1 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.2 blocks per game this season. Widely recognized amongst his peers and in NBA coaching circles as a high-quality role player who excels at defending the paint, Poeltl is a relatively popular trade target for contending teams.
To that point, while the Celtics have the best record in the NBA at 35-14, they aren’t resting on their laurels.
To the contrary, the Celtics have their name attached to a few trade targets despite acquiring Malcolm Brogdon from the Indiana Pacers for a bargain in the offseason.
This is in part due to injury history of players like Williams and Horford, who have missed 44 games combined this season. Yet, Poeltl doesn’t look like he’ll be able to latch on with the Celtics long-term unless Boston is willing to move one of their own talents at the pivot.