Jakob Poeltl hoping to get some cheers along with DeMar DeRozan in return to Toronto
DeMar DeRozan isn’t the only San Antonio Spurs player making his return to Toronto on Friday night. Big man Jakob Poeltl will also be taking the floor at Scotiabank Arena for the first time since being traded from the Raptors over the summer.
While DeRozan is obviously the big-ticket item for this game, Poeltl is hoping to get some love, too:
What is Jakob Poeltl expecting from the fans tonight? "(Laughs) Well, a lot of cheers for DeMar and then hopefully I'll be in there somewhere too. We'll see how it goes."
— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) February 22, 2019
DeRozan and Poeltl were both sent the Spurs in a July trade that brought superstar Kawhi Leonard to Toronto.
Poeltl, who played his collegiate basketball at the University of Utah, was originally selected by the Raptors with the ninth overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft.
He played in 54 games with Toronto during his rookie campaign, averaging 3.1 points and 3.1 rebounds over 11.6 minutes per game while shooting 58.3 percent from the floor and 54.4 percent from the free-throw line.
The following year, Poeltl played in all 82 games, registering 6.9 points, 4.8 boards and 1.2 blocks across 18.6 minutes a night while making 65.9 percent of his field-goal attempts and 59.4 percent of his foul shots.
While DeRozan was clearly the main component in the Leonard package, the Spurs also wanted Poeltl in the deal because of the promise he had showed during his first two years in Toronto.
He has not really broken out during his first season in San Antonio, but he has been solid, recording 5.2 points and 4.7 rebounds through 14.8 minutes per game, connecting on 64.1 percent of his shots and 55.9 percent of his free throws.
The Spurs will enter their matchup with the Raptors with a record of 33-26.